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Photo By Richard Cook
CAN YOU IMAGINE performing the amazing
feat of swimming from Nevis to St Kitts? Well,
37-year-old Kathrin Renner does not need to
use her imagination, because she has done it!
On Easter weekend the obviously fit woman
participated in a competition that involved her
swimming from Oualie Beach in Nevis to St
Kitts. She completed the race with a time of 1
hour and 24 minutes.
Renner is a German living in Trinidad since 2007.
Her job brought her here. She works for the Del-
egation of the European Union, whose core busi-
ness in Trinidad and Tobago is development
cooperation. Renner manages several projects
with the government, NGOs and other interna-
tional organisations in the area of economic di-
versification, private sector development, trade
Asked what she thinks of our country and its
people, and if it was difficult for her to fit in here
she said, "I always laugh when my friends tell me
'Yuh is a Trini by now'." She stated that it was not
difficult for her to settle in here, and admitted "I
love Trinidad. The people here are so warm and
Renner started swimming at the age of three
when her mother taught her in the family pool.
While she was in primary school, her mom signed
her up with a swim club. Renner has since en-
tered several competitions and passed on her ex-
perience by training younger children to swim.
"Swimming is a very training-intense sport," she
stated. "You have to swim in the morning before
school and in the afternoons do weight training
to build strength, and do stretching and other
sports to stay flexible and work other muscle
The swimmer eventually gave up competing
when she got out of high school, but has not
stopped swimming since. "Even when I lived in
Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon and Brussels. I didn't stop
swimming." In Trinidad, Renner can be found
swimming at Macqueripe, Maracas, and some-
times across the bay into Tyrico.
Why did she decide to do the Nevis to St Kitts
swim? "In Trinidad I always ensure that I check in
with the lifeguards before I swim to ask them
about currents and to keep an eye on me when I
am out there," she said. "They often give me an
eye and say "You sure you can handle that?" I
thought it was a great response to say "Hey, I
swam from Nevis to St Kitts". The distance, by
the way, is about 28 km.
On her emotions before and after the swim, Ren-
ner related, "My mother was here for a two-week
visit and she came along (to Nevis). She had not
been at a swimming competition with me since I
was 16, and I think she was more excited than
me, but was also scared about the distance in
open water. A friend of mine also participated in
the swim. After the swim we were just very
happy and proud of ourselves."
So what does the German think of Trini women?
"I admire Trinidadian women for their pride,
strength and determination that I see every day
at work -- especially the many single mothers.
The sense of fashion here might be a bit different
from Europe, but I admire how women look after
themselves and always make sure to dress up
and look their best. I also admire their self-confi-
dence. During Carnival you see all shapes and
sizes in tiny costumes on the road. In Germany,
women who are a bit more curved would defi-
nitely be more self-conscious to pose half naked
What does she think about sport and fitness
here? "I think children here are encouraged to play
"I always laugh
when my friends
tell me 'Yuh is a
Trini by now'."
I love Trinidad.
The people here
are so warm and
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sports and be active, but I find for adults with
hectic lifestyles it is rather difficult to work out
regularly. You have to make time for sports and
it does not come that naturally. In Europe our
daily routines include much more exercise, and a
lot of people walk long distances or ride a bike to
So does Renner plan to stay in Trinidad? "I would
love to," she said. "I think it is a fantastic and
blessed country with many opportunities. I ab-
solutely love my life here, but I may be reposted
to another country in September."
Still, Renner admits that she will always remem-
ber Trinidad and will cherish the memories she
made here, especially the swims in this part of
By Bavina Sookdeo
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