Tiny Treasures are priceless

Swimming clubs seem to be flourishing at a promising rate at present.  

The latest to capture some glory last week was Team Treasure Island Swim School, with head coach Marie Shepheard overseeing performances at the Lions Aquatic Centre.  

Team Treasure Island produced some encouraging results at the Stingray Swim Club’s sprint meet. Seventeen young swimmers aged from 4-12 represented the newly formed swim team that train weekly at Treasure Island.  

The Under-6 girls team took a combined medal count of two golds, two silvers, four bronze and four fourth place ribbons and five fifth places.  

The oldest member of the girls team was Harper Barrowman who won gold in the freestyle and the fly with Kathryn Lambert-Wragg and Natalie Majors taking the silvers. Mackenzie Pearson had a blistering meet taking bronze in the freestyle and breaststroke, whilst the youngest member of the girls U6 team was Jazzy Woodford, already experienced at only four years old, Jazzy came sixth in the freestyle.  

The U-6 boys team did just as well winning four golds, four silvers, two bronze and two fourth place ribbons.  

Will Sellars won gold in fly, backstroke and breaststroke and took the overall boys honours of U-6 boys high points award, whilst Tyler Stewart was on fire when he stormed the freestyle.  

Kane Watson also had an excellent meet taking the silver medal in the breaststroke and bronze in the freestyle. The two newest members of the boys team were Danny Kish, aged four, who came fourth in the breaststroke and George Smith who is only five and took fifth in the freestyle.  

Coach Charlie Shepheard said: “All our young swimmers have worked really hard in preparation for the meet and were ready to take on the competition.” She was especially proud of the newest members of the team.  

“It’s quite a daunting task standing alone at the end of the pool waiting for the start of the race with 200 people shouting on the pool deck. It take guts and determination just to stand there let alone get in a swim a length.”  

The Team TI senior squad was Tilly Woodford, Raeanne Stewart, Leandra Watson, Tanya Henderson, Carys Smith, Kimberly Moran, Jayda Simmonds and Frankie Lindsay. They took home two silvers, one bronze and numerous ribbons. Coach Darren Mew knows plenty about winning medals. He is a two-time Great Britain Olympian. Mew was pleased with all the results. He said: “They swam fast and had new personal best swims in every event – but most importantly they met new friends and had fun.” 

Coach Marie has already built up a busy swim school with over 300 children a week swimming.  

“To see our children grow from terrified tots to competitive swimmers is hugely rewarding,” she said. “Many of our competitive swimmers first started in the parent and child class. Harper, Kathryn, Will, Natalie and Will all started right at the very beginning and to see them now winning medals is priceless. The future of Cayman swimming is very much in our hands.” 

Coach Marie can rely on her other assistants, Josh McFarlane, Chanelle and Lauren Williams, Holly Fenton, Hannah Myrie and Oksana Miller that spend hours with her children in the pool each week. 

Shepheard has taught swimming on Island for four years and coached for over 20 years. She previously ran the Learn To Swim Programme at the Lions pool. 

At Treasure Island she takes children from as young as eight months right through to competitive swimmers.  

Marie said: “Coach Charlie is an accomplished pentathlete who has competed at both national and international level and coach Darren who is our newest member of staff, has broken multiple English, British, and Commonwealth records and swam in two Olympic finals.  

“In April 2004 he set the fourth fastest 100 metre breaststroke time ever. From 1997 over the next ten years he had a world ranking inside the top ten in the world in either short course or long course breaststroke swimming. We are so lucky to have these coaches on island and have every intention of making sure they pass down not only their swimming skills but their coaching skills.” 

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