The sound of cheering kids, parents and coaches echoed around Mele beach on Friday 5th October.
Vanuatu Aquatics Federation (VAF) hosted a Constitution Day Swimming Carnival inviting all 8 swimming clubs with over 70 kids coming to get involved in swimming. The first bus all the way from Ekipe arrived first with big smiles and excitement.
The other swimming clubs included Eastern Sun Swimming Club (Epau). Eton Swimming Club, Victory Swim Club (Blacksands), Flying Fish Swimming Club, Ba Hi Swim Club (Tebekor), Paradise Swim Club and Water Life swimming. The day was set to be big and action packed.
The big news from the event was the use of the brand new connecting pontoons purchased using a grant from BRED Bank and VASANOC which arrived in Vanuatu 3 weeks prior to the competition. The floating blocks are used to connect together and replicate a 50m pool.
These block are a huge step forward for the development of competitive swimming in Vanuatu. It provides the opportunity for dive starts which can take seconds of the times of swimmers.
The top swimmers now have the opportunity to practice dive starts and swimming turns in preparation of competing overseas. VAF would like to say a big thank you to Bred Bank for their sponsorship of the new sea pool. Thank you for believing in Vanuatu Aquatics and swimming in Vanuatu.
The day kicked off with the young 10year kids displaying some amazing Freestyle. The chance to dive at the start of the race was exciting and frightening for many kids as it was their first time race diving. The joy on the kids faces after diving and racing to the other end was contagious and it spread through all the swimmers, parents, coaches and officials. It was a very proud moment for many. We witnessed incredibly fast times from the senior boys and girls, with 3 boys swimming under 30 sec for 50m freestyle which is great. The fastest time recorded was 28.56 seconds by Robin Big from the Flying Fish swimming club. All age groups were extremely competitive in both the boys and girls races.
Once all races and results had been completed there was a small presentation to award those who swam outstanding in their age groups. It was great to see that there was a wide spread of kids across the clubs who were award winners. It shows the level of swimming is improving greatly and that competitive swimming is building up in Vanuatu. Vanuatu Aquatics Federation would like to thank all their fantastic sponsors for their continued support in swimming. Thank you Bred Bank, Azure Pure Water, Nambawan Café, Vila Distiribution, Wan Smolbag Youth Centre, Mele Beach Bar, VASANOC and Tivr Timbers.