The LA’s Relay Carnival comes on the heels of the club’s 2017 Awards which was successfully staged at the Bay Gardens Hotel on April 14th under the theme “LA: Leading the way to greatness”. The audience was aptly entertained by the multi-talented swimmers who danced to mix of ‘Reach Higher’ and ‘Cloud 9’, as well as young Ethan Hazell’s rendition of ‘Year of Love’.
The guest speaker Mr. Richard Peterkin, International Olympic Committee Member Resident in Saint Lucia and Past President of the St. Lucia Olympic Committee encouraged the swimmers to remain steadfast in their pursuits and while some may not receive special awards, being involved in swimming is an advantage due to the important life skills it imparts. The swimmers were also addressed by Mrs. Liota Mason, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports and Mr. Eddie Hazel, President of the Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association. Meanwhile, Coach Marlon James delivered a passionate speech which chronicled the Club’s successes in 2017 and the coaching team’s hopes for 2018.
A special award was given to former Trainee Coach – Shernice Popo, who despite many obstacles has persevered and is now pursuing her dreams to become a certified diver. Another element of the LA 2017 Awards was the poetry contest which challenged the swimmers to submit a poem that encourages their classmates to learn to swim. The winners of the poetry contest were Annaliese Gaillard and Angelique Gaillard. Furthermore, the Principal of the Des Barras Combined School, Mr. Ezra Joseph delivered a heartfelt thanks to the Club for its support of the school’s breakfast programme since the beginning of 2018. Mr. Joseph was also presented with another donation of books and food items at the awards which he stated would go a long way to ensure that the students are focused on their school work.
Other highlights from the Awards are as follows:
- Swimmers’ Choice – Naekeisha Louis and Yannick Layne
- Most Consistent – Naima Hazell and Karic Charles
- Most Improved – Alexandra Bristol, Rojan Felicien, Courtney Paul and Naekeisha Louis
- Most Versatile – Aliyah Henry and Courtney Paul (females) & Neil Auguste and Rojan Felicien (males)
- Stroke Awards: Butterfly – Naekeisha Louis and Karic Charles; Breaststroke – Naima Hazell and Karic Charles; Freestyle – Naima Hazell and Ethan Hazell and Backstroke – Naekeisha Louis and Yannick Layne
- Coaches’ Award – Angelique Gaillard and Karic Charles
- Highpoint Winners: 10 & under – 1st place – Karic Charles, 2nd place – Ethan Hazell and 3rd place Rojan Felicien
11to 12 years – 1st place – Naima Hazell, 2nd place – Naekeisha Louis and 3rd place Aliyah Henry
13 to 15 – 1st place – Chloe Thomas, 2nd place – Yannick Layne and 3rd place Nathan Sherman
- Swimmers of the Year:
-1st Place: Naima Hazell and Karic Charles
– 2nd Place: Naekeisha Louis and Ethan Hazell