CIASA makes a splash with weekend celebration

| 02/02/2016
Cayman News Service

Alison Jackson receives her award for best CARIFTA performance from Olympian Erik Vendt

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) recently recognised the achievements of the community’s young swimmers while encouraging the next group of hopefuls in the sport. As part of a weekend celebrating all things swim-related, CIASA held a clinic run by an Olympian and handed out numerous awards for the best performances of 2015.

The activities were part of CIASA’s annual “Splash, Dash and Brunch” weekend.

Three-time Olympic medallist, American Erik Vendt, spoke to more than 80 children at the 22 January swim clinic, with participants able to ask him questions about his journey in life and how swimming helped him achieve his many goals.

Rough seas disrupted the “dash” part of the events, the Care Pharmacy Sea Swim, forcing its postponement to 20 February.

On Sunday, 24 January, CIASA held its annual awards breakfast to acknowledge swimmers’ 2015 performances and to thank sponsors for their continued support and partnership.

Vendt gave the keynote address, talking about his life lessons and how swimming influenced the person he is today. Known for his work ethic and commitment to the sport, one of Vendt’s messages was not to focus on what you cannot change, but work on things you can do to affect positively your ability to do well. He talked about visualising goals and working hard to turn them into reality.

Vendt then helped Bailey Weather, CIASA technical director, present the Swimmer 2015 Performance Awards. Brett Frasier and Lara Butler were named top male and female swimmer, and Kim Ehkart was the top master swimmer. The most improved male and female aged group swimmers were Lila Higgs, Phin Ellison, Jillian Crooks, Sam Dakers, Isabella Watler, Ben Sommerville, Ria Plunkett, Zack Moore, Ella Plunkett and Eddie Weber.

Swimmers achieving points in the Star Programme, a point system based on international swim standards, were boys Jake Bailey (6 points), Finn Bishop (15 points), Zack Moore (22 points), Jordan Crooks (24 points) and Corey Westerborg (38 points); and girls Holly Stradling (1 point), Stephanie Royston (2 points), Ria Plunkett (3 points) and Alison Jackson (19 points).

Achievements at the 2015 CARIFTA Games were also recognised. Alison Jackson was awarded the top CARIFTA performer, for winning eight medals at the games. The most improved male and female swimmers at CARIFTA were Eddie Weber and Holly Stradling. Weber was also awarded the most improved swimmer in open water.

Michael Lockwood and Ian Lambert, CIASA president and vice president respectively, presented the volunteers awards. Jim Fraser was given a lifetime achievement award, Sara Mackay received the service to the community honour, Adam Roberts was volunteer of the year and Bill McFarland, the open water volunteer of the year.

Lockwood spoke of their efforts. “We are so fortunate to have a wonderful group of volunteers. These four recipients have done so much for swimming over the years and we thank them for their contribution. Without our many volunteers we would not be able to offer such amazing opportunities for our swimmers.

“We strive to increase these opportunities and without the support of our volunteers would not be able to achieve this. This, accompanied with the partnership of our sponsors, enables us meet our many goals. We look forward to continuing and expanding these relationships in the future. I also would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our swimmers on their many achievements over the past year.”

Category: Swimming

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