Stingrays did not float

Stingray’s overseas members Matthew and Chris Courtis, Alex McCallum and Lara and Geoff Butler headed back to their schools and swim programs in Canada and England probably fitter and stronger than when they arrived. 

While in Cayman for the festive season, the swimmers hardly had a break as they joined their home club for up to 10 sessions a week, ensuring they returned to school in superb shape.  

When asked about training over the holidays, McCallum, who swims at Loughborough University in the U.K. with Lara Butler, said, “The holidays are the most important time to train as, when your rivals are resting, you’re gaining a bigger advantage.  

“If we couldn’t train over the holidays, instead of progressing when we get back, we would be trying to catch up to the previous level, in terms of fitness, which in turn is a lot of lost time.” 

Matthew Courtis, who attends Oxford University and is a member of the university swim team, said, “Swimming is an all-year-round sport, so you can’t ease off during the holidays. This is especially true for me as I have some big swim meets coming up and staying fit over the holidays is critical to my success when I return. 

“Coach Andy Copley really helps over the holidays by not only keeping me fit but by doing workouts/stroke specific work that will benefit the races I’m focusing on this season. He provides a great balance between fitness, and speed and technique work, which complement my training back at university.” 

Brother Chris Courtis agrees. “It’s critical to maintain a high level of training during the holidays,” he said. “You can lose a lot progress if you take this time off and will see the results in your swimming. If training over the holidays was not an option, it would really hurt my fitness and swimming ability.” 

The continual training cycle has a positive impact for the swimmers, whether they are returning back to overseas education institutions to compete or joining Cayman’s CARIFTA swim team.  

To provide an easy transition into their holiday swim training, Stingray’s head coach Copley emails overseas members the schedules and finds out in advance of their first pool session what each of their individual needs are. 

Along with the whole team, Copley enjoys having the club’s overseas members back over the holidays. 

“It’s always good to have our college guys come home, I think, both for them and for our swimmers on island,” he said. “I know them all really well and while they are here they are able to get a little more individual attention than they would at their larger college program.  

“For the swimmers here, it is inspirational and gives them a much-needed push in training. I’m excited to see what our college guys do this fall in Canada and the U.K. When they are away, I keep in touch with them almost daily and it’s fun to see how they’re progressing.” 

Club president Amanda Roberts noted too that it was great to have them take part in the Christmas Reds vs. Greens Inter squad.  

“It was a delight to welcome back our overseas swimmers and see them taking advantage of the training the club can offer them at home,” McGrath said. “They continue to be very much part of the Stingray family. Their participation in our fast and competitive Christmas Red/Green Inter Squad Meet greatly added to the fun and excitement of the evening and highlighted the club’s wonderful team spirit.” 

Stingray Swim Club’s next meet is the Island Heritage Sprint Meet, at the Lions Aquatic Centre on Feb. 1.  

For information on Stingray Swim Club, visit or email [email protected] 

While in Cayman for the festive season, the swimmers hardly had a break as they joined their home club for up to 10 sessions a week ensuring they returned to school in superb shape.  


Stingrays enjoyed their holidays: From left, Chris Courtis, Geoffrey Butler, Alex McCallum, Matthew Courtis and Lara Butler.