Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 09, 2023 (SKNIS): In a remarkable showcase of talent and national spirit, St. Kitts and Nevis sent a historic delegation of 22 swimmers to the 31st OECS Swimming Championships in Saint Lucia, slated for November 10-12, 2023. The team, featuring the nation’s elite swimmers, was finalized following standout performances at the recently concluded Swim Fest 2023 at Oualie Beach, Nevis.

During the sendoff ceremony at KayanJet Lounge on November 08, 2023, the Honorable Minister of Sports, Samal Duggins, lauded the athletes for their dedication and prowess. He praised the discipline and competitive spirit of the athletes, viewed their performance as evidence of the nation’s strong sports culture, and expressed confidence in their representation at the regional championships.

Hon. Samal Duggins

The ceremony, which brimmed with excitement and anticipation, also saw addresses by other government officials. Valencia Syder, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, praised the collective effort that led to this moment. She highlighted the effective partnership among parents, coaches, and community in supporting the development of sports, and commended the readiness of the large team for the upcoming championships.

L-R: Permanent Secretary Valencia Syder: Hon. Samal Duggins

His Excellency Ambassador Kenny Douglas, Sports Advisor, also took the opportunity to highlight the significance of the moment for the nation’s sporting history. Ambassador Douglas emphasized the significant increase in the number of swimmers participating in this year’s competition compared to last year and attributed this to the investment in youth and sports, while he described the swimmers as ambassadors for the nation.

H.E. Ambassador Kenneth Douglas

The team’s journey to Saint Lucia was made possible through the generous sponsorship of the swimmers’ parents and the support of KayanJet, which enabled the athletes to have a comfortable travel experience.

Under the tutelage of Coach Eldon Thomas from the Blue Marlin Swim Academy, the swimmers are poised for success. They will compete in a series of challenging races across multiple styles, including backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, and freestyle.

The sendoff event was a celebration of not only the swimmers but also of the broader sports community, as five swim clubs with 95 registered swimmers vied for the Most Outstanding Club Trophy during the qualifying Swim Fest. This competitive spirit and support from the community form the backbone of the Federation’s sports achievements.

Team SKN

Minister Duggins said that as the team embarks on this important journey, St. Kitts and Nevis stands united in support of these exceptional athletes who are ready to make their mark at the OECS Swimming Championships

The team along with management officials and government functionaries