CARIFTA Water Polo to be held in New Providence
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jan 05, 2017
For the first time in quite a while, the CARIFTA Water Polo Championships will be held in the same location as the CARIFTA Swimming Championships. Both events will be held in New Providence in April at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex.
The water polo championships will be held April 7-9, while the swimming championships are set for April 15-18. The CARIFTA Open Water Championships will also be held in New Providence, on April 19. The venue for the open water swim event will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) President Algernon Cargill said that the upcoming championships would do a good job in terms of raising the awareness of the sport of water polo locally.
“This is a chance for the athletes who have been training for several years to showcase their talents at home,” said Cargill. “We aren’t going to put any expectations on them, but we know they will do their best. They’ll be going up against some guys that are bigger and stronger, but our team is hungry. They have had some international experience, travelling to Florida before. They also went to Hungary as well, so we expect them to compete at a high level at these championships.”
According to Cargill, the federation always planned to host water polo championships along with the swimming championships, but didn’t make a final decision on it until they found dates that wouldn’t conflict with the swimming event.
“We have a growing program, and we think this will be a good chance to display how far we have come,” Cargill said. “Water polo is a great sport that has a lot of the same fundamentals as swimming. It’s great for keeping in shape and builds a great sense of team spirit.”
The 30-member team that represented The Bahamas at the 2016 CARIFTA Water Polo Championships finished second in Trinidad and Tobago. The Bahamas competed against Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao and the host country Trinidad and Tobago in the under-14, under-16 and under-19 categories. Last June, The Bahamas’ under-12 and under-14 water polo won the Florida Sunshine State Games. The under-14 team won gold out of a field of 11 teams. They opened their campaign with convincing 11-0 and 10-5 wins over teams from Boca Raton, Florida, and South Florida. This was followed by a 5-0 victory over a team from Orlando and a 17-5 win over the well-established MBI club.
The under-12 co-ed team also won its age division. The Bahamians, who included two girls, opened with a convincing 10-4 win over a team from Orlando but then suffered a 12-8 defeat to a team from Hialeah. However, the second round of games against these teams saw two victories, 10-6 against the team from Orlando and 6-5 against the team from Hialeah, setting up a deciding match against the latter. The final ended 7-5 in the Bahamian team’s favor.