Jackson tops Stingrays pool of stars

Stingray Swim Club’s swimmers, friends and family gathered for the 2015 End of Season annual awards banquet at the Westin resort over the weekend. 

With the fresh approach of new head coach David Pursley – who joined the club last November – and coach Tim Leonhart, who arrived in January, the team has grown considerably and has seen the advent of the long-planned high performance group and the much-needed high school development group.  

For the benefit of the newer parents and swimmers, club president Amanda Roberts recalled the club’s history and development, highlighting the club’s challenges, how they were overcome and its successes.  

Roberts said, “We will not divert from our mission to be inclusive and affordable, a community swim club where swimmers can move on from a learn to swim program and grow to love the sport of swimming. 

“Stingray Swim Club is the lead example that you can produce elite swimmers without being an elite club.” 

Roberts thanked the club’s sponsors, the parent volunteers, the vice president, Peter Plunkett and the members of the board of directors, all of whom work together providing a strong support network. 

Bailey Weathers, Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association technical director, encouraged all the swimmers, acknowledging their hard work, commitment and dedication. 

All swimmers in attendance received recognition for their participation as well as certificates and badges. 

The spirit and sportsmanship awards went to Noah Hill, Georgina Healey, Olivia “Livvy” Plunkett and “Little” John Bodden. 

The most improved swimmer awards were presented to Ethan Smith, Katriona Williams, Stephanie Royston and Jonathan Key. The inaugural high school development group award was presented to Anthony Christian. 

The swimmer of the year award was presented to Alison “Ali” Jackson, whose hard work, dedication and commitment, coupled with her success in the past year earned her the top award. 

Jackson set multiple CIASA and national records and won six individual and two relay medals at CARIFTA 2015. 

An additional award, The Shepheard Cup, was donated to the club by former Stingray coach Marie Shepheard and her family as a legacy to her son Leo, who died at 19 in a car accident. The 2015 recipient was Ella Plunkett.  

Also recognized at the banquet were coach Ryan Mushin, Jo Sinclair, Chris Jackson and Helen McErlean. 

Stingray swimmers leaving the group for various reasons were acknowledged: Iain McCallum, Brandon Williams, Christian Glidden, Zororo Mutomba, Electra McErlean, Jessica Day, Marissa Poole and her mother Sally Poole.