Treasure Island kids pooled resources to come of age quickly

The Treasure Island Swim School specializes in coaching toddlers and small children, and although it is only a couple of years old, the school evidently had some growing spurts this summer.  

Not only has it been approved by the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association as one of only two approved learn-to-swim programs in Grand Cayman, but the competitive side of the school at Treasure Island has been approved by the association to become the third official swim club on island – along with Stingray and Camana Bay Aquatics Club. 

While the newly formed TI Swim Club has branched off on its own, it will still run alongside the successful school at Treasure Island.  

Head coach Marie Shepheard said, “We were delighted when the news finally came through. It’s been a long time coming and now our competitive swimmers can be recognized as belonging to their club and not as swimming unattached.” 

Coach Charlotte “Charlie” Shepheard, Marie’s daughter, is a former Canadian national pentathlete. Charlie begins to transform the youngest at the school into the more advanced and competitive swimmers club before Marie takes them from the small, comfortable pool and introduces them to lane ropes, flags and the bigger, deeper of the two pools at Treasure Island.  

“It can be quite intimidating at first, however, they settle in quite quickly as they begin their competitive adventure,” she said.  

The TI Swim Club members feel privileged to be the only swimmers in Cayman who can boast an Olympic swimmer as their coach. Darren Mew has been with TI Swim School for two years, where he is turning promising talent into potential Olympic reps. 

This year, their top swimmers, along with Mew, accompanied the Stingray Swim Club to Sarasota, Florida to compete in their first international meet.  

Although a daunting task going from the tiny Treasure Island resort pool straight into an Olympic sized 50-meter pool, they produced best times in every event and are looking forward to their next overseas event at the end of the year. 

Combined, TI Swim School and TI Swim Club coaches have more 30 years’ experience. Between Mew and Charlie Shepheard, they have represented Great Britain and Canada and competed in two Olympic Games, eight world championships, three Commonwealth Games and hold multiple British and Commonwealth records. 

Coach Shepheard said, “We are very fortunate to have the caring, confident and capable staff that we do. I could not ask for more.”