Bright future for Titus
The performance of the Barbadian swim team at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation Championships has come in for high praise.
Minister of Culture, Sports, and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who said the team did remarkably well, also highlighted the efforts of record-breaking 12-year-old swimmer, Danielle Titus. “This is an excellent performance by the Barbados swimming team, especially Danielle Titus, who did exceptionally well,” he said.
During the competition, Titus broke a 36-year-old record held in 1979 by Teresa Rivera, whose time was 1:08.45, while Miss Titus’ time was 1:07.14.
The Minister also commended the individuals who were instrumental in the team’s success. “I want to congratulate each team member, coach, management, parents, and of course the supporters,” he said.
The Barbados team won 53 medals in total –– 19 gold, 18 silver and 16 bronze, and placed third overall with 574 points.
Titus’ achievement has also attracted the interest of a new management committee entitled Quest2Glory.
At a press conference today at the Bouganvillea Hotel and Resort to launch the group, member Desmond Bruce said it was their intention to provide the necessary support to get Titus to the Olympics.
“When it became apparent that Danielle Titus’ times in 2014 were not ordinary times and that her times had her rated Number 1 in the USA in both the 50 metres and 100 metres Back stroke, help was sought to take her to the next level.
“In addition, Danielle’s father, Neil, who, being an accountant by profession, and is somewhat wily on figures, did some research and found that Danielle’s times were comparable to those of the American swimming sensation and gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, Missy Franklin,” he said.
Bruce explained a charity was set up to assist with Titus’ development since reaching Olympics standard was an expensive exercise.
“From speaking to Olympian Nicky Neckles and other swimmers they reckon that it would cost as much as $500,000 Barbados dollars to challenge for a place in the finals. We however have 5 years to reach this goal.
“While the average age for a female Gold medalist is 22 years, The fact that Missy Franklyn did it at age 15 has given us hope to make a try. We do not intend to push or pressure Danielle. Danielle is doing this on her own steam.
“She has been swimming since age 3 and loves the pool but her main goal is to get a medal for Barbados at the Olympics. Whether it happens in 2020 or 2024 at least Danielle would like to try,” Bruce said.
He said that many swimmers had dropped out of the sport because of financing problems and they did not intend for that to happen to Titus. He outlined how Quest2Glory would be going about raising funds to further Titus’ development and exposing her to high level competition.