ASATT praises Hummingbird medalists Carter and Thomas

By September 26, 2018
Dylan Carter (left) and his dad at Monday night's ceremony. Dylan Carter (left) and his dad at Monday night's ceremony.

The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago has congratulated Dylan Carter and swimming coach Keith Thomas who were both conferred with the Hummingbird Silver Award at this year’s Republic Day National Awards Function on Monday night.

The medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state in any field, or acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action.

“We would like to express our heartiest congratulations to Messrs. Dylan Carter and Keith Thomas on receiving the Hummingbird Silver Award at this year’s Republic Day National Awards Function,” ASATT president Wendell Hai Ling said in a statement.

“It is humbling that members of the aquatic fraternity are recognized on the National stage and we express our thanks to the committee for their recognition of these national heroes.”

In 2018 alone, Carter won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and three gold medals at the CAC Games. He is the first and only swimmer to medal at both the Youth Olympic Games and the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

Carter set multiple age-group records during his career. He is the fastest Trinidad and Tobago athlete ever in the long course pool in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, 50 and 100m butterfly, and the 50m and 100m backstroke.

Carter said the honour was unexpected.

"For me, it's an in­cred­i­ble ho­n­our,” he said.

“I was in­cred­i­bly sur­prised when my mom told me I was re­ceiv­ing the award. Im­me­di­ate­ly, we booked flights to come down be­cause I was in school away. I knew I couldn't miss this in­cred­i­ble ho­n­our. At such a young age it re­al­ly is over­whelm­ing to me."

Coach Keith, or Uncle Keith as the young swimmers call him, is one of the longest-serving learn-to-swim coaches in the country.

From humble beginnings in East Dry River Port of Spain, his parents were unable to afford swimming lessons and so he had to wait until he began working, in his late teens, to pay for classes at the YMCA.

However, over the last 46 years, he has taught thousands of children and young people to swim and to save lives - through his work at the YMCA, Flying Fish Swim Club and the Trinidad Tobago Life Saving Society.

Many have gone on to become competitive swimmers and get swimming scholarships to universities abroad represent Trinidad and Tobago at national, regional and international competitions, including the Olympics.

“On behalf of the athletes, coaches, council members and officers of ASATT, we express our gratitude to these patriots for putting aquatics again on the forefront on the national landscape and congratulate them on this achievement,” the Hai Ling said.

“It is refreshing that athletes continue to be a part of the history of Trinidad and Tobago, and congratulate Carter and Uncle Keith for leaving indelible impressions not only in our history books, but in the hearts and minds of our athletes, and we are sure, the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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