The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association continues to raise the standard for organized sport in the Cayman Islands.
This time, the group is partnering with Dart to introduce the inaugural CIASA National Championships to the competitive swim calendar on February 20 to 23 at the Camana Bay Aquatic Center.
The event, according to association president Peter MacKay, will be conducted in the preliminaries and finals format that is commonly used in international competition.
“Our technical director, Bailey Weathers, and the coaches from our three swim clubs all agreed that Cayman’s swimmers would benefit from having a prelims and finals meet here at home,” MacKay said. “International meets such as CARIFTA, the Island Games and the World Masters Championships use this format. Now our swimmers can start developing strategies which will allow them to swim fast in the preliminary heats, thus getting to the finals, and then faster in the finals. Our goal is to get Cayman swimming into as many finals as possible, and this is a step in the right direction towards preparing our swimmers to do so.”
In addition to being the first swimming national championships, this is also the last local meet in which Cayman’s CARIFTA hopefuls can achieve qualifying times for the pool events. Prior to CARIFTA, there will be a 5K Sea Swim, which will provide eligible swimmers with another opportunity to make a CARIFTA Open Water qualifying time.
The association will announce the members of the CARIFTA 2014 team the week of March 10. The squad will represent Cayman in Aruba in April.
The CIASA National Championships is for swimmers of all ages, including masters swimmers, and will have 158 different events available. The public is encouraged to come to the pool and support athletes or to volunteer.
Swimming action started Thursday, with prelims continuing at 8:15 a.m. and finals at 4:45 p.m. on Friday. For Saturday and Sunday, the prelims are at 8:30 a.m. and finals are at 4:45 p.m.
“Dart believes strongly in the values and work ethic that are so strongly displayed in Cayman’s swimmers,” said Joanne Lawson, a former Cayman Islands CARIFTA swimmer and a member of Dart’s Corporate Sponsorship Committee. “We are delighted to be a part of this inaugural national championship swim meet and to host it at the Camana Bay Aquatic Center. We look forward to welcoming the swimmers, officials and supporters to the pool this weekend.”