Updated: Apr 5
RWB Aquatic Academy celebrated a successful 2022 at their Athletes Awards Gala on Sunday January 8th at their home base Centre of Excellence Swimming Pool Complex. It was an evening of recognition, entertainment and fellowship of a club with over fifty athletes.
As a progression from the RWB Aqua Stars learn to swim programme, the Academy was formed in 2018. The club ended the year on a high note placing second at the ASATT December Invitational. This followed a 2018 14th place and 2019 15th place ranking. All athletes who represented the club received Ambassador Awards.
Siblings Katelon and Kyle Leera won the Junior Female and Male Swimmer of the Year respectively. Both athletes were members of the Trinidad and Tobago Goodwill Swim Team, and were among the top athletes in their respective age groups at all National Championships. Their older brother, Quillon Leera, was named the most improved athlete. The oldest Leera was also on the Goodwill Team.
Tyla Ho A Shu and Anpherne Bernard won the Senior Female and Male Swimmer of the Year respectively. Both Athletes were members of the Trinidad and Tobago Pan Am Age Group Championships Swim Team and emerged medallists. Ho A Shu also won an Achievement Award for her long and short course national records in the 50-metre breaststroke.
Warren Foster, Madara Edwards and Christiano Grant were presented Heart Awards for their positive training attitude, while Chael Joseph earned the Team Spirit Awarded for his role in generating team spirit within the club. Gianna Valentine was named the Most Dedicated Swim Fit Athlete.
Spirit of RWB Awards were presented to Israelle Alexander, Sanae Reece and Chael Joseph. Alexander had to leave the ASATT Invitational due to a medical emergency but when medically cleared she insisted she return to swim the same day to swim on her relay team. Reece learned to swim with RWB and was focused and pursued aggressively to become a member of the swim team. During the ASATT Invitational, Joseph dove in the pool to assist another team’s swimmer who was experiencing distress during a race.
The event was hosted by Olympic Finalist Candice Scott. Scott who was the first Caribbean woman to emerge in a hammer throw Olympic Final, is a Dryland Coach with the Academy. Two Time Olympian Sharntelle Mc Lean gave the feature address on Pursuing Excellence. Mc Lean recently became a Senior Coach at the RWB Academy. Both athletes who emerge from Laventille and Morvant respectively, shared that they did not let the stereotypes of their hometown deter them from being Olympic athletes. Mc Lean spoke on her personal experiences which shaped her into an Olympic Athlete and encouraged the young athletes Head Coach Deronn Samlalsingh praised the athletes and parents, vowed the club will use the available resources to create an environment of excellence. Manager Jason Wickham praised the efforts of the coaching staff and eagerly anticipated a successful 2023.