Swimmers return without medals but with a wealth of knowledgePOSTED: 03/29/16 4:58 PM
Photo: Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs, second from left poses with some of the returning swimmers at L’Espérance Airport outside Grand Case yesterday afternoon. Photo Today / Milton Pieters
St. Maarten News – Somebody once said ‘competition is important, but winning isn’t as vital’ however failure to win a medal in any sport provides the impetus for an individual or a team to do better the next time they have to compete.
For the swimming delegation that represented both sides of the island during the Carifta Games in Martinique, it was a learning experience and despite the fact they were unable to secure medals, they were able to set personal best records while competing with some of the best swimmers in the region.
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs was not there in her official capacity, but she was there to support her son and the rest of the team. The Today Sports Desk was on hand at L’Espérance Airport in Grand Case when the delegation returned home on Sunday afternoon.
After witnessing what had taken place in Martinique was enough to encourage Minister Jacobs to utter words of encouragement and make suggestions for the future. “It was truly a great experience for them, sometimes things are bitter sweet as top swimmers from the various clubs on St. Maarten who are known for winning medals,” Minister Jacobs said.
According to Minister Jacobs, even before entering the championships, they knew that the individual times by the local swimmers were not in comparison to the fastest swimmers. “Our timing was nowhere close to theirs, but our swimmers were improving on their times while they were being prepared here and while competing with the much faster swimmers, they were also able to shave off seconds from their personal times and that was a sign of improvement,” she said.
Minister Jacobs pointed out that the swimmers have all learnt and now they know what has to be done for them to get to the next level. “We too have to put a lot more into them in terms of facilities and coaches as well for them to attain a higher level.”
In closing, Minister Jacobs said that it is important for the national team to continue training by spending more time in the pools and in the gyms so that they can all be stronger and faster for future meets.
“What I think was lacking was intense training for our swimmers, from what I have learnt, the majority of the other swimmers that competed in Martinique spent at least six days a week training at least twice a day and our athletes only swim twice a week. They all have the potential, they just have to spend more time in the pool.”