January 30, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.
Feature: Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association

Striving to get islanders active in aquatic sports

Striving to get islanders active in aquatic sports
Striving to get islanders active in aquatic sports

By B. Candace [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Bermuda’s mid-Atlantic location suggests a people fully engaged with the water that surrounds them.

Since the 1930s, the governing body of aquatics in Bermuda, the Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) has sought to fulfil this engagement.

According to its website, BASA’s mission is: “To inspire and enable the entire Bermuda community to have access to and achieve excellence in aquatics and in life.”

Certainly, word-of-mouth has trumpeted BASA’s successes over the years, in age group and local competitive swimming, with overseas meets and Olympic experience thrown into the mix.

But BASA president, Tim Petty hopes to get more learners into the pool and more swimmers participating in the association’s programmes by utilizing the marketing strategies and fundraising efforts suggested at a recent conference hosted by the Centre on Philanthropy.

“It’s a shame,” Mr. Petty said. “There are still people out there that don’t know how to swim.”

BASA comprises four swim clubs of traditionally younger swimmers and competitors — the Dolphin Swim Team, Harbour Amateur Swimming Club, Sharks Swim Club and Sandys 360. Also included is the autonomous, Bermuda Masters Swimming Association (BMSA).  The Masters are made up of adults who swim laps for exercise, pleasure and occasional competition.

Swimming is an aerobic exercise that benefits health and supports safety.

“Those are the two most important,” Mr. Petty said. “It’s an extremely healthy sport. It doesn’t provide the jarring to the joints that other sports do. It’s a great workout, [with] less injuries.”

Aquatics actually comprise five disciplines, for which BASA is responsible for governing in Bermuda: swimming, synchronized swimming, open water swimming, diving and water polo.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in turn, oversees the competitions in these sports, which preparatory Olympics events include Federation Internationale de Natation or FINA events on the International Meets calendar.

“Right now, we only have open water swimming and swimming,” Mr. Petty said. “One of our challenges will be to reinvigorate those sports, particularly once the new aquatics centre is built at the National Stadium, and we have the facilities in place.”

BASA members and Masters currently use the 25-metre pool built on land the organization leased in 1981 from Saltus Grammar School.

“We have a very generous lease with Saltus and a great working relationship,” Mr. Petty said.

BASA works around the school’s schedule, but most of its training takes place outside of school hours — national training, for example, at 6am several mornings a week.

Additionally, BASA runs an elementary and middle public school ‘Get Wet Series’, with senior swimmer instructors drawn from the age group swim clubs. To date, some 600 children have participated in this twice a year six-week series.

The association’s programmes also run off-site. Over 400 children have taken part during each of the 20 years BASA has run its White’s Island Summer Camp. “This year, the Government has asked us to move it to Darrell’s Island, and we are ecstatic about the change) as it will help us to grow that camp even larger,” Mr. Petty said.

BASA has kept its learn-to-swim programmes affordable, according to the president, in order to attract “grass roots participation”. The competitive clubs levy an annual fee, which according to Mr. Petty, amounts to between one third and one fourth of the figure U.S. and Canadian clubs charge. Masters swimmers pay $10 a session.

“Most of what we do is run out of a heated pool… This is an extremely expensive endeavour,” Mr. Petty said.

He also noted that most BASA swimmers compete.

“When you put in as much work as our athletes do they always want to compete to measure their improvements,” he said.

Referring to the club competitors, National Squad and Elite Athletes, Mr. Petty observed: “We have two very talented national coaches that handle most of the day to day issues with the swimmers and their training.”

And it’s not just the on-island members of BASA that strive for excellence, according to the president.

“We have some that are doing incredibly well in colleges [abroad],” he said.

[[In-content Ad]]


You must login to comment.

The Bermuda Sun bids farewell...

JUL 30, 2014: It marked the end of an era as our printers and collators produced the very last edition of the Bermuda Sun.



28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

No calendar events have been scheduled for today.