From left are Algernon Cargill, President of the Bahamas Swimming Federation; Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture; and Wellington Miller, President of the Bahamas Olympic Association. Photo: Vaughn Scriven
Nassau, Bahamas - The Bahamas Olympic Association (BOA) has announced major financial support for the Bahamas Swimming Federation’s (BSF) Bahamas ‘Swim To Empower’ Programme to be run this summer on the island of Eleuthera.
BOA President Wellington Miller made the cheque presentation Thursday last during the opening ceremony of the National Swim Championships at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Aquatics Centre.
“As the Olympic Movement in The Bahamas”, said Mr. Miller, “we were impressed with the BSF’s groundbreaking effort in staging a pilot learn to swim programme for Bahamians of all ages in the island of Eleuthera. We are fully supporting this programme through the assistance of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and with the expectation that it will grow to include other Family Islands within the country.”
Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture Desmond Bannister has also indicated Government support for the summer programme. Citing World Health Organisation statistics that The Bahamas currently has the fourth highest drowning rate per capita in the world, BOA Assistant Secretary General and BSF ‘Swim To Empower’ Liaison Kathryn Dillette said that the programme “…began with a BOA working group under Don Cornish, our Vice President for community outreach and Family Island development, that is dedicated to promoting the IOC’s ‘Sport for All’ projects in The Bahamas and seeks to establish sports programmes and other initiatives that improve the health, environment and safety of all Bahamians.”
The BSF has collaborated with ‘Swim To Empower’ founder Brenna Hughes in developing the Bahamas programme. According to BOA President Miller, “Our support for ‘Bahamas Swim To Empower’ will make a big difference by promoting marine awareness and encouraging Bahamians, young and old to become healthy through sport and make use of their natural environment safely by learning to swim.”