Primary School Swim Championships are biggest ever

The busiest day ever at the Lions Aquatic Center, Friday was the scene at the 10th Lions Pool Cayman Islands Primary School Swim Championships. kids swimming more than ever, well organized with great atmosphere made for a great event.

Cayman Prep athletes

Cayman Prep athletes celebrate their team victory.
Photo: Sara Mackay

A packed field of 320 student athletes from ten schools participated, the larger numbers due to a more inclusive format. Designed to promote and expose the sport of Swimming to children of the Cayman Islands, within a fun and safe environment, the Dept of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture event achieved that and more.

All primary schools were invited. Competition was in the four strokes, with kickboard events and mixed relays to round out the action. Events were by age-group, starting with ‘6+Under’ up to 11 yrs, events were 25 metres (one length) with Open 50 metre events also available.Participation was so large, there were eight heats of many events. 54 events,over 165 races, of which ten were relay races.

A new format had allowed schools to enter as many swimmers as they wanted in each event, with only the first three finishers from each school earning points.Kickboard events were designed for those who may not otherwise be able to participate, and did not earn points. usual, relays earned double points, with each school allowed to enter two relay teams.

Coach Alex Webb was in charge of the day. Everything was well organized and ran on time. In a short and appropriate Opening Ceremonies Dalton Watler, Director of Sports, gave a brief welcome. The prayer was followed by ten year old Bella Rooney’s clear strong voice leading the national song. The Honorable Minister for Sport, Alden McLaughlin had a few words of inspiration and it was time for the first heat of swimmers to step forward, right at 9a.m.

That many people on a pool deck, that many first time competitors meant some chaos. But a fabulous team of marshallers: experienced swim parents and teachers, pulled it together beautifully, ’til races were going off like clockwork.Coach Jason Schmidt’s announcing kept things clear and moving.Experienced swim parent technical help in the timing shed and as starter worked with timers from each school to put together a good meet.

After coming a close second to Cayman International School last year, Cayman Prep was ready.They took the day with a healthy margin.

St Ignatius took second place honors, third went to Cayman International School, and Prospect Primary earned themselves the Spirit Award.

Progressive Distributors continued with their solid support of Swimming.Stingray Swim Club acted in support with personnel to compliment the coaching staff, a concession stand and place ribbons.

Cable + Wireless, Flowers, and Associated Industries support in the form of tents, helped tremendously also.

Schools participating were:

Cayman Brac

Cayman International

Cayman Prep

First Baptist Christian School

Georgetown Primary

Grace Christian Academy

The Lighthouse School

Prospect Primary

Red Bay Primary l

St Ignatius Catholic School

Eight senior swimmers and ‘coach Dom’ Dominic Ross were away competing at a high level meet in Toronto, ‘Youth Cup’.