Grenada Youth Adventurers (GYA), a Grenada NGO dedicated to teaching 8,000 children to swim by the year 2021 has announced Swim Instructor of the Year Awards for 2017.
These exemplary service awards recognise swim instructors/coaches/volunteers who have contributed to the ‘Get Grenada Swimming’ initiative in opening beaches for free lessons on Saturdays, starting swim clubs in schools, and running National Learn to Swim Weeks.
The awards are given to the top 2 individuals nominated by Grenada Youth Adventurers and endorsed by the Ministry of Sports for individuals who have made a consistent effort and considerable strides to teach our local youth to swim.
The criteria for receiving a Swim Instructor of the Year Award are:
Must be involved in giving free swim lessons
Must have shown exemplary service in the growth of a beach programme in Grenada
Must be working to continue to develop themselves and others in swimming
The awards were given out on Saturday, 10 February at the launch of the National Learn to Swim Week at Grenada Marine in St David. Permanent Secretary of Sports, Kevin Andall gave out the awards to the following individuals:
David Wright – Bathway Beach
The first Swim Instructor of the Year Award went to David Wright (along with his wife Linda) who have done an amazing job up north where there are few opportunities to take swim lessons for the children.
They began small and started building their Bathway Beach programme bit by bit until today they now consistently have 40-50 children swimming there every Saturday. Even more fun is to watch the community they have built up, especially among the instructors, both paid and volunteer. They have developed some of the swimmers to the point of being swim instructors themselves. The couple has created different levels for the children to earn badges and they have organised a bus to bring up children from the River Sallee area. They are hugely involved during the National Learn to Swim Weeks in April and in July and ran those 5-day swim programmes at Bathway. In 2018 they plan to do it in Sauteurs.
Nataly Regis Sihera – Fontenoy/Sauteurs/Instructor Development
Nataly has been involved with swimming since she was a young girl in Grenada. She was a coach for 20 years for the Grenfin Swim Team and became the National Coach, who brought home many OECS championships. Recently, she has left competitive swimming to focus on grassroots swimming. She has taught countless children on the island for free, and it can be seen in the number of children that swim from the Fontenoy area where she gives free swim lessons on Saturday afternoons. She set up the ministry’s swim programme which teaches over 400 children/term at Good Hope Pool, and as if that isn’t enough, she has been travelling once a week to St Patrick to teach the Anglican and Catholic primary schools up in Sauteurs.
In the goal to teach 8,000 children in 5 years, more swim instructors are needed. In 2017, Nataly developed a curriculum for level 1 and level 2 swim coaches and taught every Saturday for 8 months to graduate 19 new coaches. She used her holiday time to spend a week in Bathway teaching instructors up there in December. She is the Senior Swim Coach in the Ministry of Sports is one of the most hardworking, humble, and meets all the criteria for the Swim Instructor of the Year Award and much more. The award given to Nataly also included a free scuba diving course from Eco-Dive.
The National Learn to Swim Week 3-7 April
The 4th Annual National Learn to Swim Week will take place the week after Easter, and the goal is to teach over 800 children and adults during this time. Individuals may sign up for 5 free one-hour lessons each day of the week from Tuesday through Saturday at 15 different locations throughout Grenada. Registration and more information may be found at www.nltswgrenada.com or by calling Deb Eastwood at 404-5237 or email [email protected].