Busy summer for Cayman swimmers

| 31/08/2015
Cayman News Service

National Development Representative Team at swim camp in Florida

(CNS): Following on from an eventful summer of training and international competition as part of teams representing the Cayman Islands, swimmers Catriona MacRae and Lauren Hew will be taking part in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa from 5-11 September.

Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) president Michael Lockwood was pleased with the progress of all the swimmers. “I am delighted with this past year of swimming and particularly with the strengthened programme of summer swimming that our athletes have benefitted from,” he said.

“We have seen new national and CIASA records set; our participation at CARIFTA this year was strong and our competitiveness and experience gained throughout the summer have been tremendous for our athletes.”

He added that he wished the best for McRae of Stingray Swim Club (SSC) and Hew of Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) at the games in Samoa and looks forward to “another exciting year of swimming”.

Throughout the summer, swimmers represented Cayman at the Island Games in Jersey, Pan American Games in Toronto, Special Olympic World Summer Games in Los Angeles and FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Lockwood spoke of the team’s success at the Island Games, saying “the professionalism and hard work of our clubs and coaches, combined with a focused and deliberate national swim programme led by technical director Bailey Weathers, are providing Cayman swimming with the layered progression necessary to develop our swimmers into the world-class athletes they want to be.”

There were also several overseas meets at the club level, which keep the athletes training and fit throughout the summer months. CBAC attended the Sarasota Sharks Open in June; SSC attended the Georgia Tech Invitational the following month; and those swimmers with meet qualifying times attended the Dolfin Summer Senior Beach Blast Championship at the end of July.

The clubs feed athletes into the national programmes and the development of swimmers who will represent the Cayman Islands internationally. With this in mind, for the first time, CIASA invited and assisted 10 swimmers, ages 9-15, on the National Development Representative Team to attend a four-day camp in June at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.

Swimmers had an opportunity to work with Neal Studd, who was head coach of the St Lucia team at the 2012 Olympics. He has been running swim camps for more than a decade, instilling a winning tradition in competitive swimmers, with his philosophy of positive reinforcement, proper stroke technique and challenging training.

While the camp’s main focus was swimming, the experience provided participants with an opportunity to understand what it would be like to go to university. They lived on the university campus in dorms and attended all activities.

Participant Samantha Rowland said about her time there: “The camp was an amazing experience and I was so grateful for having the opportunity to come to the FGCU camp. We had amazing coaches who were very experienced, we met a few high level swimmers and we got to get a feel for the school as we stayed on campus. Overall, the camp taught me so many new skills and gave me some amazing memories.”


Category: Sports, Swimming

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kathy says:

    I am so proud of our young swimmers. Not only do they train hard during the traditional school year, they are so committed to their sport and to being the best they can be that they put in hours over the summer too … with older swimmers training as many as 20 hours a week throughout the summer.