Swimming Federation ('BSF') is responsible for the development,
promotion and control of Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming, Water
Polo, Open Water Swimming and Masters Swimming in the Commonwealth of
The BSF is a member of Federation Internationale de
Natation ('FINA'); the Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas
('ASUA'); the Confederation de Centro Americana y del Caribe del la
Aficionados de Natacion ('CCCAN'); and the Bahamas Olympic Association
Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands and cays located about 250
miles east of Miami, Florida. Although the country has a land mass the
size of Jamaica, the population is less than 300,000 people.
According to census figures, 50% of the Bahamian population is under
the age of 25. However, there are less than 400 swimmers registered with
the BSF, although there are several hundreds more in learn-to-swim
programmes. The majority of these swimmers are between the ages of 5
and 18 years old.
The number of registered clubs in the Bahamas is
about 12 swim clubs, as many as 8 clubs have registered membership in
the Federation. Currently, there are 8 clubs located in the capital of
Nassau on the Island of New Providence (Barracuda Swim Club, Dolphin
Swim Club, Flamingo Swim Club Sea Bees Swim Club Swift Swimming, Sea
Waves Aquatics Team Orca Swim Team And MantaRay Swim Club) and 3 clubs
in Freeport on the Island of Grand Bahama (Blue Marlin Aquatics,
Freeport Aquatics Club; Lucaya Lightning swim Club). Abaco Swim Club,
located in the Marsh Harbour/Hope Town areas on the Island of Abaco.
The number and adequacy of swimming pool
facilities hampers the growth of the sport at the national level.
There are four 25-metre and two 25-yard outdoor competition pools in
Nassau. All but one of these pools is owned by an educational
institution, either a private secondary school or a college. There are
two 25-metre outdoor competition pools in Freeport, one of which is
owned by a private secondary school. However, as the result of a very
generous donation of B$5,000,000.00 by Mr. and Mrs. John Kenning, in
May of 2000 the Bahamas Government completed the construction of the
Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Complex. As a result, The Bahamas
now boasts its first 10-lane, 50-metre outdoor swimming pool. There is
also a 6-lane, 25-metre training pool.
the existence of this new aquatic complex will allow the BSF the
opportunity to provide programmes introducing numerous persons to the
joys of aquatics. This would dovetail with the Federation's short-term
objective of increasing the number of registered swimmers to the
1,000 level. It might also serve as an impetus to increase the number
of persons teaching and coaching swimming. With only 10 to14 registered
coaches, Bahamian swimming is in need of more swimmers, more coaches,
more pool facilities and new clubs. One means of accomplishing this
would be the introduction of swimming programmes in local primary and
secondary schools. Almost 75% of school-age children attend public
primary and secondary schools and 50% of the population of The Bahamas
lives on New Providence. Yet less than 1% of the Federation's
swimmers come from public schools. Similarly, none of the public
schools has an on-site swimming pool or easy access to the existing
publicly-owned swimming pools.
construction pattern of adequate swimming pools mirrors the slow
growth of the sport. Prior to the completion of the Betty Kenning
Aquatic Centre earlier this year, it was 8 years ago, in 1992, that
the first 8-lane, 25-metre pool in the country was built at St. John's
College in Nassau. The rest of the existing swimming pools were
constructed 10 to 25 years ago. A swimming pool complex is scheduled for
future construction in Freeport, with emphasis on the word "future".
Abaco Swim Club has raised the funds to build a 25-metre outdoor pool
on land donated by the Marsh Harbour Town Council and expects to start
construction shortly. Their swimmers will not have to train in the
sea waters of the harbour much longer.
Aside from the above, no other swim clubs or
competition pools exist. This means that the BSF has no presence in
the majority of islands: Andros, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Bimini,
Long Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Inagua, San Salvador,
Rum Cay, the Berry Islands, Harbour Island.