Bradley described WUG as a very good experience

by: Barbara Walkin, Night Editor

Stacey Bradley, who was named as coach of the four member swim team from The Bahamas to compete in the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia back in July, said it was a privilege to be asked to fill that position.

Speaking with the media on Wednesday during one of her classes from poolside, Bradley said, the World University Games is the second largest event next to the Olympics.

She noted that 12,000 athletes from 165 countries competed in 77 sporting disciplines.

" There was every sport from Badminton to swimming ... everything you see in the Olympics was there,"  she added.

" It was actually a very good experience, we were in Russia for three with the four swimmers one from Freeport and the other three were from Nassau."

She explained that the competitors, all, had to be university swimmers.

" But these guys were some of the top swimmers in the world. It was a really fast championship event," Bradley said, noting that out of 100 swimmers per race, the Bahamian swimmers finished in the top 30 in every event.

"So we did very well against the best in the world,"  stated Bradley.

Taking what she saw and the present level of local swimmers, Bradley was questioned as to the future of the sport.

" Well that was a totally different level from what I am working with here,"  she replied, "but these are the building blocks of what you take into the World Games or to the Olympics.

" Having the opportunity to talk to other coaches there and to see that calibre of dedication with the athlete, it is a good thing to then come home and tell the kids what they have an opportunity to look forward to.

" Things like that are really motivators for the young kids,"  she added.

The Bahamas Swimming Federation and The Bahamas Olympic Committee partnered to send a four member swimming team, coach and team manager, Sheena Deveaux, to the games.

The event has evolved to be the Olympic Games for university students and there are over 12,000 athletes competing in just about all of the Olympic disciplines.

The team included University of Nebraska swimmers Ariel Weech and Bria Devaux; Queens University of Charlotte swimmer Evante Gibson (Grand Bahama) and Xavier University of Cincinnati swimmer Armando Moss.

Ariel Weech, an outstanding junior athlete who recently won the runner-up high point trophy at the 2013 Royal Bank of Canada National Swimming Championships, carried the nationâ s flag during the opening ceremony on July 7.

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