Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Victori perseveres to earn CARIFTA selection

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Three years ago Victori Bourne could not swim a stroke. Now, she has been selected to represent Barbados at the 2023 CARIFTA Aquatics in the aquathlon.

Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams highlighted her remarkable growth as an athlete last Sunday, singling her out as someone in the Christ Church East constituency who has achieved against the odds.

Speaking during the Barbados Labour Party branch meeting, Abrahams said it was impressive to see her transform into a national athlete.

“Three years ago she could not swim at all!” Abrahams began.

“She went and did the Swim for Life programme, passed it and decided she wanted to take up swimming. I was invited to her first swim meet and I watched her come last so I thought to myself ‘swimming might not be the thing for her, maybe she could try something else’, but she stuck it out.

“Every morning she would be up early training and be back in the evenings to continue swimming and I am happy to say that on Friday (March 17), when the list of athletes for CARIFTA was published, one young lady by the name of Victori Bourne was selected to represent Barbados in the aquathlon.”

MP for Christ Church East, Wilfred Abrahams, said Victori Bourne has achieved against the odds. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

The aquathlon comprises swimming and running. And according to Abrahams, the only reason Victori has not tried the triathlon is because she does not have a bicycle.

Discussing how she felt about being selected Bourne said: “It was an awesome feeling and I am honoured to represent Barbados in the aquathlon, and hopefully as a runner. I put a lot of hard work in so I am glad the hard work in training on mornings and evenings paid off. I’m grateful to my parents and the rest of my family for supporting me and also Minister Abrahams for believing in me.”

Victori Bourne (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe)

Twelve-year-old Bourne forms part of the five member Under-13/15 age group that qualified for CARIFTA Aquatics being held this April in the Bahamas. That list also includes Cain Banfield, Luke McIntyre and Zindzele Renwick-Williams who will all do both triathlon and aquathlon, as well as Isabelle Mayers in the aquathlon.

Her next challenge though, was competing for Deighton Griffith Secondary School in The Shane Brathwaite Zone of the Dasani-Powerade Barbados Secondary School Athletics Championship (BSSAC).

Last week, Victori was second in the junior girls’ 1 500 metres in 5 minutes 49.89 seconds, third in the 800m in 2:44.79 and sixth in the 400m in 69.72 seconds. She was also part of the 4×100 and 4x400m relay teams.

Her mother Karen Bourne is extremely pleased about her daughter’s progress.

“I am very proud of her because at the start of this she couldn’t swim. Now she can do it all-breaststroke, butterfly, you name it. Up to yesterday she went to training at Pirates Bay Swim Club and did the 800m thrice! She also runs and I know she will qualify for the BSSAC finals because she came fifth in the cross country race (2022 National Sports Council Trevor Straughan Cross Country race) last year out of all the children.”

She joked that she was following in the footsteps of her father Patrick Bourne who is a well-known local long distance runner and competes for the seniors. He has been guiding her in the art of long distance running outside of the training she gets from Elite Distance Track and Field Club.

Victori Bourne will compete for the first time overseas next month when her swimming club heads to St Lucia on April 12 for a meet.  (JC)

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