Camana Bay targets swim club

Cayman may only have one public
outdoor pool for young swimmers at the moment. But in the near future that is
set to change with a West Bay Road site.

Officials involved with Camana
Bay’s sports facilities state the area’s 25m pool is being opened up to young
swimmers. In particular there are plans for the formation of a team geared
towards the 18 and under crowd.

Property Manager for Camana Bay
Sports Jeff Wight shed some light on the proposed swim club.

“Camana Bay is starting up a
swimming club that is provisionally called the Camana Bay Aquatic Club,” Wight
said. “Since this January we’ve had 45 swimmers training at the pool each day.
The kids have ranged from five to 12 years-old with the idea being to possibly
go up to age 18. Camana Bay has invested a lot of money into these facilities.
When you invest that much into physical assets you want them to be utilized as
much as possible.”

The Camana Bay pool is eight lanes
across and is part of the development’s $30 million commitment to sports. In
addition to the pool there is a 75,000 square foot synthetic grass football
field, two outdoor basketball and tennis courts and the 20,000 square foot Arts
and Recreation Centre which can cater to a number of sports such as basketball,
volleyball and badminton.

Wight states all of those
facilities are being used regularly for around 10 different sports.

“A number of sports are held at
Camana Bay. There is football with many different clubs (e.g. Sunset Club,
Seven Mile Sports Club) having training sessions weekly, basketball (who have
the majority of their leagues here), volleyball, flag football (which has its
youth league ongoing), tennis, swimming, badminton, field hockey, Special
Olympics (who use the pool on Saturday mornings), ultimate Frisbee and
triathlons. We’ve also had rugby and hockey (specifically through the street
hockey tournament) host events in the past.

“Sometimes the sports taking place
are seasonal, such as the youth flag football league. But basically the
facilities are used all year long. It is busier at certain times of the year.

“For example now is quite busy. We
had one Saturday morning where there was a community event in the recreation centre,
the pool was booked an entire morning, the field was being used and the court
was used later in the day. That is the level of activity that I prefer to see.
We really want the community to take advantage of our world-class facilities.”

With the formation of a swim club,
clearly the potential is there for burner meets to be held at Camana Bay.
Currently those development races, along with all local pool events, are held
at the Lions Aquatic Centre at Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town. How
much the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association uses the Camana Bay pool
remains to be seen. What is certain though is that the group and Wight will be
in constant dialogue.

“This year we at Camana Bay are
doing a lot of things. More sports events are coming up. We will host more 5ks
(we had the Cayman National Bank one this year on 15 January). Eventually we
will host our own sports leagues across all of the different sports. I’ll meet
with the local sports associations to talk about hosting the different leagues.
That way we maximize the impact of those leagues while preventing conflicts.”