#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#As Bahamas Aquatics gradually works its way back into the pool through several phases, the altered timeline has prompted the organisation to announce the official postponement of its national championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
#Several senior swimmers have returned to the training sessions under Phase 1 of the Government of the Bahamas’ plan to re-open the economy, however, it does not include an allowance for youth sports to continue. “Our swimmers are slowly returning to the pool under a very regulated social-distancing environment and, unfortunately, with no parents allowed in the stands and limited competitive swimmers at each session.
#“We have not yet returned to the pool, non-national team swimmers or learn to swim, and the darlings of nationals, the 8-and-under and 9-10 swimmers. This is really not ideal but it’s a start and we hope to be back to normal later this summer,” Algernon Cargill, president of Bahamas Aquatics, said in his message to the swimming community posted on social media. “These changes can only mean that we cannot hold the 2020 National Swimming Championships in June 2020, and although we have received excellent feedback from some of you (some have not responded), I am writing to formally advise that, in addition to postponing the 2020 National Swimming Championships.”
#No timetable has been set for the newly proposed date.
#“We cannot now confirm that the 2020 Championships will be held this year. As the year unfolds, and we can see the impact of returning to normalcy on our swimming programme, we can confirm in September 2020 if we will be able to hold a modified National Swimming Championships in 2020,” Cargill said.
#“I do hope that we are able to return all swimmers to the pool in the next 30 days and Bahamas Aquatics will continue to keep you up-to-date on these plans as soon as we receive more information from the government. The decision to be made will be whether the 2020 Championships will be mandatory (as is outlined in our rules) and we will also provide feedback on this in our next communication.”
#Swimmers currently training at Betty-Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre adhere to strict guidelines and protocols in line with FINA and USA Swimming. The 35th CARIFTA Championships, previously set to take place April 11-14 in Wildey, Barbados, has officially been cancelled after over a month of deliberation. Saint Lucia was awarded the 36th edition April 3-5 in 2021, COVID-19 pandemic permitting.