Young local swimmers benefitted from impromptu sessions with the coaches and athletes currently making their training base at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva. About 10 young athletes from various clubs were introduced to the discipline of diving at a Saturday clinic with Duke University Diving Head Coach Nunzio Esposto and his athletes. The swimmers learnt some basic warm-up and stretching exercises before plunging into the pool alongside the collegiate divers.
Speaking at the event, Esposto said he was happy to facilitate the session. “I was very impressed by the attitude of the youngsters, who had never been exposed to diving before. For them to experience this right at this amazing diving facility is incredible. I hope we’ve made some converts from the pool to the diving board!” Also present was Secretary of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASATT) Andrea Brache who echoed Esposto’s sentiments adding, “We’re happy that the Duke coach and athletes were so accommodating and look forward to the establishment of a permanent diving program here in Trinidad and Tobago in the near future.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s lone para-athlete in swimming Shanntol Ince, also participated in a session with the Canadian Paralympic Swim team which has chosen this country as their winter training destination. A member of the Sea Hawks swim club locally, Shanntol fit in seamlessly during the session and saw the experience as historic. “I dream about having a Paralympic swim team represent Trinidad and Tobago and being exposed to the Canadian team training gave me an opportunity to learn, grow and gain insight into improving in my sport. It also gave me a hint of what my rivals do to earn a spot on the podium.” Shanntol met one of her competitors – Katarina Roxon, a 100m breaststroke champion at the Rio Paralympic Games – and renewed her friendship with the woman she once competed against at the Para Pan Games in 2011.
More than 300 athletes and coaches from North America, invited through the initiative of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago, will visit the Aquatic Centre through to March 2018. The current crop of clubs and universities, enjoying the weather in Trinidad and Tobago, head back to their colder home climates this Friday.