Cayman’s swim team at CARIFTA games

| 21/03/2016
CNS Local Life

Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden with CARIFTA swim team

(CNS): Cayman’s young CARIFTA swimmers arrived in Martinique over the weekend and have been busy training in the newly opened 50m pool that will host the games. The team will be training again today (21 March) ahead of the pool events that run from 22-25 March, with the open-water competition set for Saturday, 26 March.

Minister of Sports Osbourne Bodden met with the 22 swimmers on Wednesday, 16 March, as they were about to start their final team training session before departing for Martinique two days later.

The minister told the young swimmers, who range in age from 11-17 year old: “I know how hard you train and how much you give up to be successful at your sport. I understand that some of you train over 20 hours a week and still maintain your grades at school – and this is something you should all be very, very proud of.”

Osbourne, who also addressed the parents and Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) directors who were there, added, “Participation in CARIFTA is a key reward for the swimmers’ years of training and is a critical motivating factor in their development. It is therefore absolutely important for the government to assist in ensuring that they are able to attend.

“CIASA has stringent and high standards for qualifying and to train for 20 hours per week and meet the qualifying times but not being able to attend would be demotivating indeed. This is a process and developmental pathway that works – as has been demonstrated by those who have gone before, including our Olympians Andrew MacKay, Heather Roffey, and Shaune and Brett Fraser.”

The ministry provided CIASA with a CI$18,000 grant after learning that the association’s fundraising efforts might fall short of being able to send every athlete who qualified from attending the games.

“We wish you the very best in Martinique. I will be watching your results as you compete and assure you that all of Cayman will be cheering you on,” Osbourne said.

CIASA president Michael Lockwood thanked the government for its support. “On behalf of the swimmers, their parents and the greater Cayman Islands swim family, I extend my thanks to the government, to the Hon. Minister, Osbourne Bodden and to his team at the ministry, including Joel Francis, for working so quickly and efficiently on our behalf,” Lockwood said.

“I add my best wishes to our swimmers to those extended by the minister and I also look forward to cheering you on.”

The head coach, two associate coaches and a team manager accompanied the swimmers to CARIFTA.

To follow the team’s progress, as well as the live stream of the finals, go to this website. (The site is in French, but click through to CARIFTA and then click on the word Français in the top right corner to select to view the site in English.)

Tags: ,

Category: Sports, Swimming

Comments are closed.