CIASA gets ready for Flowers

Cayman’s biggest swim event takes
place this weekend and the organising body would like to inform the public of
its responsibilities.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming
Association is the governing body that oversees the sport of swimming in the
Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, the international organisation that
governs swimming worldwide. Established in 1986 as a non-profit organisation
the swimming association promotes, develops and regulates Cayman swimming.

All levels of the swimming spectrum
are encompassed from support for learn-to-swim programmes and development and
oversight of competitive swimming both at club and international level to
support for and development of swim officiating and the development of masters
swimming for individuals 25 year-olds and over.

Outside of the pool the association
organises and oversees a series of open water races throughout the year both in
Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. The biggest of which is the annual Flowers one
mile sea swim on Saturday 19 June. The Flowers race is the largest and most popular
sea swim and this year the event will be held for the 18th time with the projected
number of swimmers expected to exceed 800. In recent years this event has been
consistently ranked as one of the top open water swims worldwide and regularly
draws competitors from all over the world including Olympic champions and world
record-holders. The swim takes its name from its founder and the driving force
behind the event Frankie Flowers, who is ably assisted by his daughter Dara.

The swimming association would not
be able to undertake the vital role it plays without the support of corporate
sponsors and the hard work of numerous volunteers who dedicate so much time and
effort into making swimming truly one of Cayman’s most well-organised and
freely available focus sports.

Once the Flowers event wraps up
over the weekend the swim association board will prepare for numerous
international events. A number of swimming meets are scheduled to take place
before the end of 2010, all of which (with the exception of the World Open
Water Championships) will boast Cayman Islands representation. The major races
of note are the World Open Water Championships in Canada 15-23 July; the
Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico 20-25 July; the Youth
Olympic Games in Singapore 14-26 August and the Commonwealth Games in India
3-14 October,

Many of the swim association board
members are active and influential figures in local swimming. They include Mark
Mathews (president), Jim Fraser (vice president), Jennifer Reid (secretary),
Richard Johnson (treasurer), Sook Yin (director), Frankie Flowers (director),
Steve Bain (director), Tom McCallum (director), Maria Butler (director) and
Brenda McGrath (Stingray Swim Club president).

The swim association also voices
its support of the Stingray Swim Club, Cayman’s sole swimming club, which works
closely with the coaching staff at the Lions Pool (who are employees of, and
paid for by, the Ministry of Sport). The Club organises roughly nine swim meets
each year (three long meets over four days, three sprint meets and three fun
‘burner’ meets) with the latest event being the Caledonian Group Summer Splash
meet this week.

For more information on Cayman
swimming e-mail [email protected]