Swimmers spend breakfast with Olympian

Alison Jackson, who was awarded Top CARIFTA Performer, with Olympian Erik Vendt.

More than 80 children attended a swim clinic held by Olympian Erik Vendt on Jan. 22, and had the opportunity to ask questions about how swimming helped him achieve his many goals.

Unfortunately, rough seas on Jan. 23 resulted in the planned Care Pharmacy Sea Swim being postponed. It has been rescheduled for Feb. 20.

Eddie Weber, awarded Most Improved Male at CARIFTA 2015, with Erik Vendt.
Eddie Weber, awarded Most Improved Male at CARIFTA 2015, with Erik Vendt.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association’s Awards Gala Breakfast on Jan. 24 provided the opportunity to acknowledge swimmers’ 2015 performance and to thank sponsors for their continued support and partnership.

Vendt, the keynote speaker, gave an inspirational address, talking about his life lessons and how swimming influenced the person he is today. Known for his work ethic and commitment to the sport, one of Vendt’s messages was that while recognizing things that you cannot change, do not focus on them. Instead, focus on the things you can change to positively affect your ability to do well. He also talked about visualizing goals and working hard to turn them into reality.

The Swimmer 2015 Performance Awards were presented by Vendt and Bailey Weather, CIASA’s technical director. Brett Fraser and Lara Butler were named Top Male and Female Swimmers, and Kim Eckart was named Top Master Swimmer. Most Improved Male and Female Aged Group swimmers included Lila Higgs, Phin Ellison, Jillian Crooks, Sam Dakers, Isabella Watler, Ben Sommerville, Ria Plunkett, Zack Moore, Ella Plunkett and Eddie Weber.

Swimmers achieving points in the Star Program, a point system based on international swim standards included Jake Bailey (6 points), Finn Bishop (15 points), Zack Moore (22 points), Jordan Crooks (24 points) and Corey Westerborg (38 points). For the girls, these included Holly Stradling (1 point), Stephanie Royston (2 points), Ria Plunkett (3 points) and Alison Jackson (19 points).

The swimmers’ achievements at the 2015 CARIFTA Games were also recognized. Alison Jackson was awarded the Top CARIFTA Performer. Jackson won eight medals at the Games. The Most Improved Male and Female swimmers at CARIFTA were Eddie Weber and Holly Stradling. Weber was also awarded the Most Improved swimmer in Open Water.

Michael Lockwood and Ian Lambert, CIASA’s president and vice president, respectively, presented the volunteer awards. Jim Fraser was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award; Sara Mackay received Service to the Community; Adam Roberts received Volunteer of the Year; and Bill McFarland was named Open Water Volunteer of the Year.