Howard team to train at NSC
Athletes from Howard University will headline more than 130 swimmers from four universities scheduled to train simultaneously at the National Sports Centre aquatics and fitness facility next month.
This is the latest in a four-year wave of elite swimming and diving groups to take advantage of a sports tourism partnership between the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the NSC.
Howard University's record-holding swim team will leave the Washington, DC, winter behind for laps in Bermuda's 50 metres pool on January 6.
Head coach Nicholas Askew said the team, which includes a Rhodes Scholar finalist, an Olympian, and NCAA qualifier will take full advantage of the facility's pool, weight room, diving boards and beaches to get “fitter, faster, stronger, better”.
He 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.”
Between January 2, and January 11, Howard will be joined by swimmers from New Jersey institutions: Stevens Institute of Technology, William and Paterson University and Ramapo College.
The BTA-NSC agreement allows visiting 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.
This strategy has helped usher in teams beyond swimming, including lacrosse, rugby and other sports — particularly during the fall and winter months between November and March.
“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 National Sports Centre,” said Hazel Clark, director sports and business development at the BTA.
“These types of events help us to solidify Bermuda as a leading sports training destination similar to Florida and Arizona.”
Swimmers from the Danish national swim team, SwimMac Carolina, St Andrew's College, Canada, Indiana University and Germantown Academy have all taken advantage of the partnership to train in Bermuda.
Jack Bond, chief executive of Allsports International, said: “I first fell in love with Bermuda many, many years ago when our company arranged Spring break for college students. “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.”