Bermuda Masters Swimming Association (BMSA) announced that the inaugural Bermuda Masters National Age Group Swimming Championships will take place this Sunday at the BASA Pool.
It seems when a good idea is thrust in front of industry heavyweights, it is supported!
Which is the situation following the announcement today that the emerging Bermuda based TV station BSN (82 on Cable Vision) will cover the inaugural Bermuda Masters National Age Group Swimming Championships set down for this Sunday at the BASA Pool.
And, with iconic Bermuda swimmer Roy Allan-Burch set to touchdown here on Thursday in preparation for Christmas and his assault on the featured Relay Race which will be put on at the meet to help him raise monies for his London Olympics campaign, he has announced too that he will compete in individual races.
"Are you kidding? I would not miss this for the world. I love the concept," said Allan-Burch. "I fully support what the BMSA is doing in Bermuda and for Bermuda swimming and naturally for me, so I want to compete at this historic meet too," he said from his home in Charlotte. "I feel I'm in good shape and it gives me the chance to have a crack at some national records during the meet."
Allan-Burch owns just about every Bermuda National Record and title he has ever wanted to have, but he does NOT yet own a BMSA National Record or title! It will be announced at the meet just which individual races he will enter.
And as if that draw card wasn't enough, recent swimming sensation, Julian Fletcher, who came within a second of qualifying for the London Olympics when he smashed the Bermuda National 100m Breaststroke Record while competing as a guest at the US National Titles last week, has also decided to compete on Sunday in some individual races.
Fletcher has agreed to join the BDA Rep Relay Team to take on Burch in the featured Relay Race, but as his races of expertise are in breaststroke, he may not clash in an individual race with Burch.
Lisa Blackburn, who set a World Record in her age group at those same US Nationals last week, has contacted the organizers of the BMSA Meet on Sunday, and offered her best while, sadly, turning down an invitation to compete.
"I love what the BMSA is doing by creating this swim meet, but unfortunately my flight back to Bermuda doesn't arrive until after Christmas so I have to miss it, sadly," she said.
Nick Thompson, who trains in the US at university on a swimming scholarship, is also arriving home in time to compete in an individual event, as will recently crowned BDA National Triathlon Champions, Jonathan Herring and Cora Starzomski.
The stars are coming out to play, but the real feature of this meet is the format - it is open to EVERY person aged 20 or over, irrespective of talent. All events are age group and there are several stars over 60 with international credits under their belts like Colleen Nelson who will be competing. Karen Smith, a perennial superstar in triathlon and who recently placed in the She Rox Duathlon in Bermuda, will also be swimming.
Corporate support has continued to stream in also. Along with ARGUS and Flanaganís Irish Pub, the TV show SONGOPOLY, which returns to VSB TV in January, is a new corporate sponsor as is BEST Shipping, The Total Marketing & Communications Ltd. and Bermuda Imports and Exports.
The TV coverage which BSN will provide is a shot in the arm for the meet and stamps it as something on the top tier of sports programming.
Lamone Woods of BSN said, "We will be there as this event appeals to us and will be something the public wants to watch." it is expected the meet will air the following Wednesday on BSN Channel 82.
The swim meet commences at 5pm on Sunday at the BASA Pool in Hamilton and all spectators are welcome to watch some world class athletes in action.