Wayne Scott points to swimmer Roy-Allan Burch after their swim-off. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Wayne Scott points to swimmer Roy-Allan Burch after their swim-off. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

Swimmer Roy Allan Burch has been given a financial boost in his quest to qualify for the 2016 Olympics thanks to Digicel Bermuda.

The mobile phone company has pledged to sponsor Burch $7,200 per year until the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil games.

The announcement was made at a press conference at the National Aquatics Centre today by Digicel CEO Wayne Caines.

In addition to the announcement, there was also a swim off between Digicel CEO Wayne Caines and Sports Minister Wayne Scott. Mr Scott won the race.

Burch also raced in the pool against a relay team comprised of Digicel staff and Mr Scott and won despite giving his opponents a lead.

Thanking Digicel Bermuda, Burch said: “I will continue to push myself as high as I can.

“I always want to maximize my ability and show other Bermudians what like of athlete they can become themselves.

“I am very blessed to have this opportunity with Digicel to represent Bermuda.”

Shane Mora, marketing director for Digicel said the money would go towards anything Burch needed to get to the Olympics.

Mora said while the sport looks relatively inexpensive because a swimmer only needs goggles, there are many costs associated what people a professional swimmer.

“We are giving him $7,200 per year leading up to the 2016 Olympics which is roughly $21,600.

‘There are training expenses such as swimming in the pool, competing with a team.

‘There’s also food and supplements along with training in the gym, travel costs and blood work.”

Mr Mora said in addition to his hectic training schedule of swimming 30 to 40 kilometers a week plus working out in the gym, Burch finds time to mentor young Bermudian swimmer Jesse Washington.

“We are happy to give him this push and look forward to sharing in his success.”

Mr Caines said it was a “priviledge” to sponsor a “phenomenal Bermudian man”.

“Sometimes we look all over the world for examples for greatness. Well look no further.

“An example of greatness and hard work stands in front of us.

“He stands with the swimming fraternity of Bermuda that has guided him. We are pleased to be apart of his sponsorship.”

Mr Scott applauded Digicel Bermuda for sponsoring not only Burch, but also other local athletes and teams.

Speaking about Burch, Mr Scott said: “Bermuda is proud of you. From the time you entered the competitive arena to your quest for gold in the upcoming Olympics, we applaud and admire your efforts.”