After 50 years, The Dolphin Swimming Club has become almost a household name, but the handful of interested persons who met in April, 1969 to discuss the formation of a competitive swim club did not then dream of the success they would have. Those persons consisted of Mr. and Mrs. David Sumner, Mr. Peter Drudge, Mrs Roger Sayers, Mr. Charles Lunn Jr. and Miss Betty Cole. Later that month they met again and their numbers were increased by the attendance of Mr. Ronnie Roberts, Mrs. Dorothy Dupuch, Mrs. Hans Vanderschoot, Mr. Peter Leggett, Mrs. D’Arcy Ryan, Mr. Patrick Ryan and Mrs. Roy Cole.
After this meeting a constitution was drawn up, examined and ammended by the late Hon. Eugene Dupuch and affiliation with BASA (Bahamas Amateur Swimming Association) sought.
On the 6th of October 1969, the first swimming session of the Club was held under the direction of Miss Betty Cole at the new pool at Xavier’s College.
Four and a half years later in a presidential report, David Sumner stated:
“The Dolphin Swim Club is now 4 ½ years old, and what a fantastic 4 ½ years it has been: In 1971 one of our Dolphins swam in a competition abroad, 3 in 1972 and no less than 13 took part in various stateside competitions this summer carting home some very impressive gold, silver and bronze hardware. In the past 18 months (since our last meeting), there have been two National Championships, two Kiwanis Marathon races, two Freeport marathon races, two meets with the Jamaica Y.W.C.A team, one meet with the Freeport Aquatic Club and at least one inter club meet – which averaged something like a major swimming event on the home front every seven weeks. Remember 4 ½ years ago the only swimming event was the Kiwanis Marathon race. All this activity stems from the birth of the Dolphins and I think we can all take time out to congratulate ourselves and most of all our indomitable leader, Betty Cole.”
Since those minutes were recorded, the Dolphin Swim Club has continued to work for the betterment of swimmers in The Bahamas. History shows that over the next 16 years the Dolphins brought in not only the Jamaica Y.M.C.A team, but the Sheeler Winton Swim Club, the South Miami Dade Stingrays, The Aztec and St. Andrews Swim Team out of Boca Raton, The Blue Dolphins from Trinidad and the Etobicoke Swim Team from Canada.
In addition, the Dolphins hosted the Mercersburg Academy Swimming Team for three consecutive years during their Christmas training and organized a swimmers, coaches and officials clinic with Pat Barry, head coach of Mercersburg and later of Northwestern University, to conduct it. In 1985 the guest speaker at the Dolphin Awards night was Mr. Don Gambril, former head coach of the University of Alabama Swim Team and head coach of the highly successful 1984 US Olympic Swim Team.
Dolphin Swimmers have competed in competitions the world over. Four of our swimmers, Bruce Knowles, David Morley, Garvin Ferguson and Timothy Eneas have competed in the Olympic Games while many others including Charles Smith Jr., David Morley, Tietchka Knowles and Geoffrey and Timothy Eneas have achieved ‘All American’ swimming times while competing in the United States. Regionally, Dolphin swimmers continue to etch their names in Bahamas swimming history with Timothy Eneas being awarded the first Gold Medal in swimming at the 1986 Carifta Games. Trevano McPhee clocked the fastest start at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. Other firsts on the Dolphin record were a 24 hour swim-a-thon, and a relay swim-a-thon completely around Paradise Island. Our most recent National Team member is Donald Saunders, who was named to the 2020 CARIFTA swim team.
Dolphins continues to be a strong presence in swimming in The Bahamas through its current swimmers and its former swimmers who now contribute to the sport as coaches: Shawn Neely (Team Orca), Trevano McPhee (Mako Aquatics), Amanda McPhee (Mako Aquatics), Dwayne Davis (Mako Aquatics), Perez Moss (Alpha Aquatics) and the present Head Coach of Dolphins, Allison Dean, as well as former Head Coach Geoffrey Eneas.
One of the objects for which the Club was formed, as expressed in its constitution, was “to encourage and promote amateur swimming in The Bahamas.” The many accomplishments of the Dolphins and its swimmers over the past 50 years are too numerous to recount but through the Club’s reputation it is clear that the Club has lived up to it to its goals and has been a successful sporting organization at every level.
In addition to the success of the Club in the swimming arena, the Dolphin Swimming Club is particularly proud of the success its members have enjoyed outside of the sport of swimming. Many Dolphin swimmers are now in leadership positions in the social fabric of The Bahamas and there is no doubt that the discipline of training and competitive involvement has stood them well in life after competitive swimming.
In the words of Betty Cole:
“We want good swimmers, and we work hard to make good swimmers, but we insist on having good sportsmanship. We want our swimmers to train hard and they do, but we also want them to have fun – and they do.”