Commonwealth Games - It’s a family affair for British Virgin Islands swimming team

GLASGOW Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:30pm IST

A guard stands outside the security perimeter of the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

A guard stands outside the security perimeter of the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, July 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

GLASGOW (Reuters) - Swimmers Amarah and Elinah Phillip are moving the family business to Glasgow for two weeks to make history for the British Virgin Islands at the Commonwealth Games.

The sisters will become the first swimmers to compete for the British overseas territory in the Games when they take to the pool from Thursday, but they are not the only members of their family who will be involved.

Athletes often cite the support of their relatives as vital to their careers but if it was not for their parents, Amarah and Elinah would not even have a team to swim for.

Their father Elsworth Phillip is both the coach of the swimming team and the president of British Virgin Islands Swim Federation (BVISF), and their mother Tracy Bradshaw is the BVISF secretary.

The family moved to England two years ago but they are sure the debut of the Islands, located in the Caribbean and with a population of around just 27,000, in the pool will still capture the public’s imagination.

"We hope the competition is broadcasted back home. If it is, I am sure people will be watching," said Bradshaw.

Both sisters will compete in the 50 metre freestyle events while Amarah, 15, will also swim in the 50m and 100m butterfly, and Elinah, 14, races in the 100m freestyle.

"We train together and we do everything together, so there is no room for a rivalry," said Elinah.

(Reporting by Sam Holden; editing by Toby Davis)

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