By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-Preparations are progressing smoothly for the popular Easter Monday tradition of the Basil Henderson Easter Monday Aquatic Sports meet to be held in Basseterre.
The meet is set to take place on Monday April 17 at the ferry terminal in Basseterre and the organizer for the event Winston ‘Zak’ Nisbett in an interview with The Observer has indicated that most of the organisational needs are already in place.
“As far as I see almost everything is in place already. The coastguard they are already on board towards the safety, the EMS service have already committed themselves and the police have already consented,” he said.
Mr. Nisbett stated that they are planning to bring back many past activities such as boxing and viewed it as a form for individuals to settle their differences.
“We have the boxing coming back on stream this year because it is like anyone can feel free to box because rather than going to the knife and the gun it is best to fight it out as was done in the old days,” he said.
Organizers will be adding skipping and hula hoop to the event to complement the traditional swimming events.
“We are trying to bring back in skipping, hula-hoop so we could have a smooth flow and no gaps in between and will include the normal swim races such as the freestyle, butterfly, the breast stroke, back stroke, the long distance under water dive as well as the long distance swim,” he declared.
He said there are different categories of male and female swimmers based on age range
Nisbett also spoke to the ever popular greasy pole event and indicated that he had already received commitments for a donation of the two hams for the horizontal pole and that the Scenic railway has already committed a cash prize for the vertical pole to be mounted in the sand
The historian added that the thus far he had received commitments from all of the sponsors and they are many.
“It is getting bigger ever year it is climbing and it is transparent because everything we have is open nothing is being wrapped.”
He reminded last year that the winner of the long distance swim won a flat screen television while the winner of the long underwater distance dive won a cell phone.
He also made a call for increased participation amongst the female swimmers.
“You don’t have to pay nothing for the races just come to me and you swim. Once you swim and you win prizes are there waiting for you,” he said.
He also spoke of plans for next year’s edition that will be the historical 60th anniversary.
“Next year we are going to be have the 60th anniversary and it is going to be something huge. What I will be doing is that we will be incorporating Nevisian swimmers. This was done couple of years ago but leading up to the 60th anniversary we are going to make it special,” he said.
He further indicated that he will be doing a book that will show the older buildings that were there and how the pier use to look in the past and also for people can get some insight into some of the persons who swam over the years.
Nisbett said whenever the book is finished they will be giving a scholarship to an underprivileged student from the Newtown Primary School and the Irish Town Primary School.
“The reason for that is most of the rivalry of the swimmers. Newtown people use to come to see their people swim and the same with Irishtown. So it was like a competition between them and at the same time was a day when one can relax and view sports and family relations and that sort of things,” he concluded.