Opinion: Trouble in the pool (Carib Swim Team)

POSTED: 08/12/13 12:36 PM

The following letter describes the troubles Carib Swim Team trainer Jean-Francois Choquet experienced during the past couple of months.

“For several months, a small group of dissidents, 3 to 4 people, is taking advantage of the disability and the nonexistence of the President of the Association Carib Swim Team; they are trying to destabilize the club to their advantage:
Their method is to manipulate the parents of swimmers to discourage their kids systematically, criticize the drive system or insult the French coach regularly.
These people know nothing about swimming or the swimming training. Their children have no taste for competitive swimming, and many of them were absent from most competitions.
Since the beginning of the season, they have not participated in the organization of any competition, leaving the coach on his own.
In early 2013, the only idea they had was to send to many people, club members or not, an anonymous questionnaire, designed primarily to discredit and destabilize the coach and the swimming team in general (and especially the French).

What is their motivation? Jealousy against successful swimmers,  vanity and stupidity.

Since the beginning of the season last September, the coach was able to have swimmers participate in five major local competitions (including two in St. Barth), in addition to the selection of some swimmers to wider competition (like the Cariftas Games and the  Championships in Guadeloupe) without any financial means and without any help from the club managers.
Contrary to the rules of all sports and laws, no swimmer had a license (and therefore no insurance in case of accidents) before the arrival of the French coach. But that did not matter to the leaders of Carib Swim Team.

The results obtained by swimmers at the end of the season are excellent, and the progress of the swimmers who have trained seriously are huge (swimming is a sport of speed, the times achieved in competition show progress). For many of them it was the first season of swimming.

Matteo, Hanael, Tatiana, Niobi, Chloe, Emma, ​​Kelia, Julie, Benjamin, Vadym, Emi, Sarah, Agis, Rashad, Nina, Anthony, Maeva, Maxime, Vincent, Pierre-Alain, Tim, Isabelle, Juliette, Shermar, you know who you are: congratulations with your efforts and performance.
For others, only the efforts work in sport. It is therefore necessary to train, sometimes harshly. Laziness never brings results.

The few dissidents in the club saw fit to organize their own competition in the pool of Cole Bay on June 23 last, pompously titled Championship. This competition was attended by all and for all 11 children (including some non-swimmers or weak swimmers) including their own children.
But they have made a major event to showcase, with photos on the internet and laudatory articles in the press in Sint Maarten.

This is why Carib Swim Team has always been mocked by the sporting bodies and surrounding islands. It is a shame.

But the original purpose of these people was not swimming, or the interests of the children. Their goal was to organize a semblance of a general assembly and to elect themselves to positions in the club (President, members of the board).

This mock General Assembly and election was completely illegal under laws governing the operation of associations in Sint Maarten.

Facing this scandal, swimmers who want to progress and their parents (they are the majority by 90 percent), and who regularly pay their dues at the club, have the duty to make their opinion heard. It is above all for the interest of swimmers, and the future of competition in Sint Maarten!

This is why I invite you to participate Monday, September 2, at 5.00 p.m. at the pool of Cole Bay, to a large information meeting during which everyone can express themselves.
The agenda of this meeting will focus on methods and training techniques in swimming, organizing the training for the new season and debate about the evolution of the structure of competition in relation to Carib Swim team and the possible creation of a new swimming association.

The swimming pool in Cole Bay will be closed from August 16 to August 30.

Note this date: Monday, September 2  at 5:00 p.m. Come all, I am waiting for you!

Jean-François Choquet,

Ex-champion of France (Master)

Ex International


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