NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – – The Department of Sports in the Nevis Island Administration and Swim to Win have collaborated to launch the first MV Christena Memorial Swim Camp for primary school students on Nevis.
The first batch of campers, students of the Cecele Browne Integrated School (CBIS), began instructions on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at the Eden Life Wellness Centre.
Swim to Win organizer Ann McLinden said over the next two weeks, students from the public primary schools will attend the camp, which will be hosted at Yachtsman Grill beach.
“Ultimately our goal is to have Swim to Win as part of the school curriculum. It’s a wonderful activity. There is a lot of physical movement. You use all parts of your body, flexibility, strength and it’s also socialization, but really our overriding goal is safety and to make sure we have confident, competent swimmers and we can start with the school kids…
“By the end of the camp next week we would have worked with almost 300 individuals, most of whom are fearful, brand new swimmers …Hopefully one day we will have an Olympic swimmer who will be participating from Nevis. That is our long term goal,” she said.
The Swim to Win programme also involves the training of locals to become swimming instructors. Ms. McLinden said training of instructors began when the programme first launched in January 2020 but the initial camp that started in March of that year had to halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is my second trip down to train the instructors and I’m thrilled to be back in Nevis… By the end of this week I will have 15 trained instructors. They are enthusiastic. They are trained. They are excited to be part of the programme. All the instructors come in as volunteers. They will also be certified in first aid and life-saving Red Cross skills,” she said, noting that the training will be done at different levels and ultimately the instructors will be internationally certified.
Ms. Terres Dore, Education Officer with the Department of Education, who is responsible for the CBIS thanked Ms. McLinden and her team for the initiative for the students.
“It is indeed a very worthwhile venture which will benefit our students in many ways. Although some people may see swimming as just a recreational activity there are many benefits that will help our children in their overall development and so we are indeed thankful that this opportunity has been afforded to our students to engage in such a fun and interactive activity.
“The children are indeed having a wonderful time and so we thank Ann McLinden and her team, the team that helped to organize the programme, and the instructors for taking time out of your busy schedule to be a part of this initiative,” she said.