Stingrays spurted under Copley

Stingray Swim Club celebrated its end of season banquet in its first full year under the leadership of head coach Andy Copley.

The team and individual swimmers were acknowledged, sponsors thanked and parents and board of directors recognised for the hundreds of volunteer hours they put in every year, allowing the club to be the success that it is.

The banquet, held at The Reef Resort in East End, was a sold-out, family affair.

Minister of Sports Osbourne Bodden attended and cheerfully handed out badges and certificates to swimmers. Copley presented awards for Spirit, Most Improved and Swimmer of the Year.

Minister Bodden addressed the swimmers and their parents, encouraging swimmers to continue their training, being the best they can be and thanking parents for the emotional support and personal sacrifices they all make to allow their children to swim competitively.

The Spirit Award goes to swimmers who display a strong sense of team spirit and camaraderie who participate fully, are enthusiastic members of the club and whose spirit is contagious. They were won by Sam Dakers (bronze), Miquela Montana (silver), Stefanie Boothe (gold) and Alex McCallum (senior).

There was also a Most Improved award for swimmers in each of the groups, and this year Most Improved Swimmer was awarded to Justin Ebanks (bronze), John Bodden (silver), Ella Plunkett (gold) and Cole Morgan (senior).

The Swimmer of the Year award was presented to Samantha Bailey, whose hard work, dedication and commitment, coupled with her courageous performance at CARIFTA 2013 earned her the accolade.

The Shepheard Cup is awarded to a swimmer who is committed and passionate about swimming, but doesn’t always have to win. Nevertheless, the recipient must do well and represent his or her club and country with pride at home and overseas – and generally is a great kid to be around the pool and to have on the team.

It was donated to the club by former Cayman Islands Government and Stingray coach Marie Shepheard and her family. The cup is a legacy to their son Leo, who died tragically young, aged 19, in a car accident.

When presenting this cup, Stingray Swim Club uses the opportunity to send an important message to the swimmers, some of whom are now starting to drive, about road safety and the absolute need to wear a seat belt. The 2013 recipient of the cup was Wunyae Crawford.

The president Brenda McGrath sent a message from overseas congratulating all the swimmers for their achievements through the year and, in her absence, Amanda Roberts, vice-president welcomed the guests and acted as emcee for the event.