Cayman Islands swimming is experiencing a resurgence mainly thanks to the skills, experience and direction provided by the still relatively new post of technical director.
Since the role was introduced and funded by the Cayman Islands government and Maples and Calder, it has been filled by Ian Armiger and the current incumbent, Bailey Weathers.
The technical director program was initiated by the Ministry of Sports in 2011 and since then Cayman’s swimming program has started to regain the strength and depth it was known for previously.
The inaugural Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association National Championships in February provided spectators with exciting races, thrilling finals and multiple new CIASA and national records.
It was clear to everyone in attendance that Cayman’s age group swimmers are racing faster than they have for the past few years and that the swimmers from the three clubs – Camana Bay Aquatic Club, Stingray Swim Club and Treasure Island Swim Club – are equally matched across all of the age groups.
The next step is to take this success overseas to the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Aruba, which start on Tuesday, and let the improvements continue. From there, swimmers can qualify for bigger tournaments.
As technical director, Weathers’s role is to coach the coaches. He has extensive administration and coaching experience at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I level and also has years of experience working with the United States national swimming team.
His wealth of knowledge and practical experience provide a guiding tool for newer coaches and is utilized in every aspect of the sport, from training swimmers and officials to guiding the everyday volunteers.
Any sports club and federation is made up of parents, former athletes and other supporters.
In swimming, they take charge of issues such as funding and administration while the coach and technical director take care of the coaching and needs of the athletes. This distinction is one of the primary reasons for Cayman Swimming’s developing success.
“Maples and Calder is pleased to support programs such as those organized by CIASA,” said Mark Matthews, partner at Maples and Calder.
He added, “The firm places much emphasis on the value of sports and the many benefits it offers for the youth in our community. We look forward to the sustained success of the program and wish the swimmers all the best at CARIFTA and other events.”
“The depth of experience which Bailey has brought to Cayman is impressive,” said Michael Lockwood, CIASA president. “He has worked with swimmers of all ages and abilities including some of the best known names in swimming. Today Cayman’s swimming coaches and swimmers, old and young, are benefiting from this experience too.”