Barracuda Swim Club President Philice Albury, left, accepts cheque from leading financial services provider LENO for sponsorship of the 9th Annual Leno Barracuda Invitational. Events will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Centre without spectactors but will be livestreamed on Facebook. Presenting the check is Leno Trust Ltd. Managing Director Dianne Bingham.
There won’t be any crowds to cheer and parents will have to shout from the comfort of their living rooms, but the Barracuda Invitational will go on for the ninth consecutive year this weekend, thanks to the continuing sponsorship of leading financial services firm, Leno and its charitable arm, the Leno Foundation.
“Trying to stage the event this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic presented great challenges but our young swimmers who have trained wherever and however they could begged us to make it happen and we did not want to disappoint them when they have already endured so much as a result of the need to stay distant to stay safe,” said Barracuda Swim Club President Philice Albury. “We figured that if they wanted it that badly, we would give it our all and when we turned to Leno once again, they agreed to come forward with the sponsorship with the proviso that we operate under strict Bahamas Aquatics Ministry of Health-approved COVID-19 protocols. We were happy to assure Leno and the wider aquatics community that we absolutely would.”
According to Albury, stretching the events out for extended hours with swimmers only permitted to be present at the venue during their scheduled event allowed the meet to go forward.
The venue will be the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Centre, Nassau. Some seven clubs will compete, including Alpha Aquatics Club, Blue Waves Club, Lyford Cay Swim Club, Mako Aquatics Club, Mantas Water Polo and Swim Club. Sea Waves Aquatics Club and the visiting club, Turks and Caicos Aquatics Club.
“Leno has supported this event since its inception because of the values it instills in young people – discipline, sportsmanship and the need for team work as well as development of personal best,” said Leno Trust Managing Director Dianne Bingham.
“Those are characteristics that help build a strong adult population. Then, in September 2019, when Hurricane Dorian swept through Abaco and Grand Bahama ae saw firsthand the reality of a world in which swimming could no longer be considered just sport or just recreation. It was a matter of life and death and that re-affirmed and strengthened our commitment to this program.”
The event will take place throughout the day Saturday and Sunday and will be livestreamed on the Barracuda Swim Club’s Facebook page https://fb.me/e/Tt7XtCOP
. The meet will serve as a CARIFTA qualifier.