This year promises to be better than the last for the local triathletes who excelled at various meets in the Caribbean and the United States.
That was the assessment of president of the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT) Darren Treasure in an interview with The Nation.
Last year was the first time BFIT could host a full calendar of events since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Barbados in 2019, and this time, Treasure hopes to build on those accomplishments to make 2023 an even better year.
“A lot of athletes took the opportunity to do some overseas races in the United States of America and a number of those athletes took part in the CARIFTA Championships, which was great for us. We also had four athletes competing in the mixed triathlon relay event at the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham which is something to build on. It was a really good year and 2023 is going to be another big year.”
Amongst the many achievements was Barbados winning the 4th CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon and Mixed Relay Championships hosted in Bermuda in September, with Zindzele Renwick-Williams, Hailey Banfield, Laila McIntyre, Cain Banfield, Luke McIntyre, Isis Gaskin, Niel Skinner, Fynn Armstrong amongst the podium finishers. Armstrong won the gold medal in the 3000m event at the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships in April, Renwick-Williams finished third at the United States Triathlon Youth National Championships, Ohio in the 11-12 age category and Luke McIntyre was second in the youth category of the Clermont Draft Legal Challenge in Florida.
Treasure, who was voted as the chairman of CARIFTA Triathlon and Aquathlon in 2022, added that this year will be one filled with multi-sport events and the federation will be working with local athletes so that they can train and compete at all of them to ensure they qualify for Barbados.
“We’ve had tremendous success with very little financial support other than from the parents of the athletes in the Federation and the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA). We will be looking to reach out to one or two corporations and the National Sports Council for help. We’ve got a great base of athletes and it’s all about doing the right thing with them to keep them in the sport and progressing with their skills, because a lot of what these athletes need is not available in Barbados.”
The estimated cost for a triathlete in a ten-month training camp, inclusive of coaching, physiotherapy, travelling and accommodation is $30 000.
Barbados currently has four triathletes away on scholarship – Zahra Gaskin and Skinner who are attending Wingate University and Queen’s University in North Carolina, respectively, Kayla Renwick at Wagner College, New York and Chara Hinds at Delaware State University in Delaware.
Among the major events for 2023 include the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador in June; the Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, the World Beach Games in Bali and the CARIFTA Triathlon and Aquathlon in The Bahamas, all in August. The National Triathlon will be held on October 22 and the Pan Am Games in Chile. (JC)