Athletes to train in Bermuda
More than 130 athletes from four universities will be in Bermuda to train at the National Sports Centre next month.
Howard University. Stevens Institute of Technology, William and Paterson University and Ramapo College are all set to send student athletes to the island in January.
Nicholas Askew, head coach for Howard University’s record-holding swim team, said the group intends to take full advantage of the NSC’s facilities to strengthen their skills.
Mr Askew said: “Bermuda is a beautiful country with an amazing culture and we were immediately attracted to the opportunity when it became available.
“Having the opportunity to train in such an awesome facility, engage the community, and connect with alumni were all wins for us.
“Howard has a strong alumni network in Bermuda. We are excited to bring a little piece of HU to the island and potentially connecting with all of them. We think they will be happy to see our programme and the success that we are having.”
The Howard University swim team, which includes a Rhodes Scholar finalist, an Olympic swimmer and an NCAA qualifier, are scheduled to leave Washington DC for the island on January 6.
When they arrive, swimmers from the other universities — all based in New Jersey — will already be on the island and training.
Jack Bond, CEO of Allsports International, who helped organise the visits from the New Jersey schools, said: “I first fell in love with Bermuda many, many years ago when our company arranged spring break for college students. After that we arranged vacation travel for the New Jersey state teachers to Bermuda.
“The island is one of the most beautiful and friendly that I have ever visited. In the last several years our company has moved from vacation travel to arranging programs for college athletic teams.
“To me, it was the perfect spot to add to our destinations. I am sure that the training experience will be far above anything else the teams have ever had.”
The visits are part of an agreement between the BTA and the NSC, which allows teams to use NSC training facilities at little or no cost if the team’s size and length of stay provides an adequate economic impact for the island.
Hazel Clarke, director of sports and business development at the BTA, said: “Hosting four university swim teams simultaneously, at this time of year, is further evidence that we have a great opportunity to successfully activate our training camp strategy and leverage our partnership with the NSC.
“These types of events help us to solidify Bermuda as a leading sports training destination similar to Florida and Arizona.”
Representatives from the Danish swim team, SwimMac Carolina, St Andrews College, Indiana University and Germantown Academy have all come to Bermuda to train at the NSC as part of the BTA partnership.