Butterfield will be nice and special

The Butterfield Bank 800 metres sea swim is on Saturday and along with the usual swimming community, Special Olympics athletes and coaches from Jamaica, Curacao and Barbados, the United States will be participating.

It starts at 4pm from Governor’s Beach to Public Beach and registration is from 3-3.45pm at the starting point. Entry is from $10 for children and $15 for adults.

Along with five Cayman Special Olympics athletes they will make a total of around 20 who will wear a different colour cap.

This is in conjunction with the first International Clinic on Open Water swimming for Special Olympics athletes being held here on Friday and Saturday. They were attracted by Cayman’s superb natural open water conditions, well organised, safe sea swim and growing expertise of producing open water events.

The Special Olympics World Summer Games 2011 in Athens saw 35 athletes from 20 countries compete in the first open water event which was won by Cayman’s Andrew Smilley. The goal for the next World Summer Games Los Angeles in 2015 is 100 athletes for the open water competition.

Cayman’s Special Olympics athletes are Andrew Smilley, Kanza Bodden, Quinton Ebanks, Hamish Wood and Alec Cox from the Brac,

Overseas swimmers will included Kester Edwards, one of the first International Global Messengers for Special Olympics International, who is a former Special Olympics athlete. Steven Munatones is an athlete, coach and promoter of open water events. Munatones is a frequent visitor to and promoter of Cayman’s beautiful open water events. He absolutely adores the annual Flowers Sea Swim, which this year is on 9 June.

The clinic main speakers will be Munatones and Cayman’s own hardworking and loved Penny McDowall, who was recognised by Special Olympics Caribbean in 2007 as the Coach of the Year.

Butterfield Bank’s Bill McFarland, a past president of Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association and active open water swimmer, will do the briefing for the Special Olympics athletes.

This joint effort of Special Olympics Cayman Island, Butterfield Bank and the swimming association could be the start of a worldwide push to enhance open water swimming for Special Olympics International.

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