Barbados, cow bells and butterfly
Barbados was a blur. I couldn’t decide if it went by in a blink of an eye or it seemed like we were there for weeks.
The reason we were in Barbados was that our daughter was representing Bermuda at the CARIFTA regional swimming championships. Like a Caribbean youth games for under 18’s.
18 countries took part, all but two with smaller populations than Bermuda and the competition was over four days with morning and evening sessions at the Barbados Aquatic Centre situated just outside of the capital Bridgetown.
On my vast bucket list is to watch England in a cricket test match in the Caribbean, and although the numbers were much, much smaller most of the competing nations were represented by large groups of family and friends, and my did they make a lot of noise. The cow bells are still ringing in my ears, with the Bahamians the loudest and largest in number. As the rum flowed the drums and horns got louder.
It was a great experience and my daughter, one of youngest swimmers at the championships, excelled far beyond our hopes and expectations.
She was in 10 events, and all we wished for was that she made some evening finals. As it was she made 8 finals and won a gold medal 🥇 in the 200m fly, and a bronze medal 🥉 in the 200m backstroke. She also came 4th twice, 5th twice and 7th and 8th.
It was nerve wracking watching her, but she was amazing as was the whole team of 12 representing Bermuda. They won 19 medals in total including 5 golds and came 6th overall. The Bahamas were placed 1st, Jamaica 2nd and the excellent Cayman Islanders 3rd.
I have to tell you that seeing our daughter on top of the podium with a gold medal around her neck and God Save the Queen playing will be something we will never forget. Very proud her.
As for Barbados we chose to stay at Sandals Royal in St. Lawrence Gap, a lively area on the south-coast but we only saw it from a cab driving the 10 minutes between pool and hotel.
With the swim teams staying together elsewhere the adult only all-inclusive Sandals made a lot of sense to us and friends and also swim parents. Despite not being at the hotel for large chunks of the day we did do our very best to get our monies worth for our ‘free’ drinks at lunch, and when we returned their late in the evenings.
It all made for a tiring and exhausting week and I didn’t even dip my toe into a swimming pool!