In December 1981, Casuarina Beach Club Hotel was opened in Barbados. One of
its owners, Angus Edghill, was Barbados’ first swimmer at the 1968 Olympics.
The pool at the hotel was not designed like the average hotel pool, with
curves, waterfalls, bridges, etc., but as a practical 25 yard, four lane
pool for lap swimming. The Manager of the hotel was Jonathan Morgan, a past
Barbados swimmer. Angus and Jonathan started to swim a little in the
afternoons and soon they were joined by other swimming relics of the past.
The Casuarina Masters were born.
In 1982, the first Masters swim meet was held at the Casuarina pool between Barbados and Trinidad, followed by a return meet in
Trinidad a few months later.
With encouragement from the late Joey Kaufmann of
Trinidad, it was decided to attend the first World Masters Championships in
Toronto (1985). To everyone’s surprise the relay team of A.Edghill,
J.Kaufmann, C.Gibbs and D.Farmer won the gold medal and set records in the
medley and freestyle relays.
Masters swimming in Barbados started to gather momentum
and soon the idea of building an Olympic pool for the island took shape. Mr.
Maurice Foster spearheaded the effort to raise funds and obtain land while
Angus Edghill agreed to construct the entire project at cost.
The Aquatic Centre has since transformed swimming in
Barbados. The Casuarina Masters no longer train at the hotel pool but are
now at the 50m Aquatic Centre.
Over the years, the Casuarina Masters has traveled
extensively to swim in many international meets. In 1992, Angus Edghill
broke three world Masters records in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m (long course)
freestyle of the 45-49 age group. In 1995, he also broke the 400m and 800m
short course freestyle records in the 50-54 age group.
Some of the meets the Casuarina Masters have competed in
over the years are:
US Short Course Nationals, Fort Pierce, Florida - 1986
US Long Course Nationals, Portland, Oregon - 1986
Canadian Masters Nationals, Toronto, Canada - 1987
US Long Course Nationals, Woodlands, Texas - 1987
US Long Course Nationals, Buffalo, New York - 1988
I LATYCAR Championships, Venezuela - 1991
Masters World Championships, Indianapolis - 1992
II LATYCAR Championships, Puerto Rico - 1993
III LATYCAR was succesfully held at the Aquatic Centre
with over 600 participants - 1997
The Casuarina Masters are now looking forward to being a
part of the 5th LATYCAR Championships (1999) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.