Stingray Swim Club turns 20 this year and is marking the event with a celebratory gala recognizing its swimmers, families, friends and supporters – past and present.
The gala, “Simply Elton, A Tribute to Elton John by Jeffrey Allen,” takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Marriott. All proceeds go to Stingray’s Youth Development programs.
A press release from the club outlined how it all began:
“What started as a small group of swimmers, with board meetings taking place in the Lions Pool changing rooms is today the oldest and most successful swim club in the Cayman Islands, having members who competed in the Olympics, won medals in world-class international competition and set multiple CIASA and national records.
“As age group swimming grew in the Cayman Islands – new clubs were formed, adding to and strengthening the competitive environment – Stingray continues to lead the way. And with the continued support of its sponsors; and fundraising efforts of its members, family and supporters has introduced technology and underwater filming to its pool training; invested in dry-land equipment, such as pull-up bars and weights, and has grown its team of coaches to two full-time coaches whose passion for their jobs is seen every day on the pool deck.”
The club has a current membership of 80 swimmers across its Bronze, Silver, Gold, High School Development, Senior and High Performance swim groups.
“I am honored to be part of the Stingray family in this milestone year,” said Head Coach David Pursley. “Talking about what was accomplished in the past has inspired our swimmers today to really look to the future, set some big goals for themselves and focus on how to achieve them.
“The next four years are going to be exciting and I can’t wait to share them with our swimmers, and with the larger Cayman Islands swimming family.”
Sara Mackay, past Stingray president and mother of Olympian Andrew Mackay, said, “Who could have imagined the exciting 20 years of swimming that Stingray Swim Club has been a part of? And in addition to producing some of Cayman’s best swimmers, the club can also be proud or producing young people who are positive members of our community, and whose integrity, commitment, enthusiasm and discipline are good reminders that in today’s day and age, when there is so much negativity in the news, that there is an incredible strength and discipline that our young people can find in sports and particularly in the sport of swimming.
“They are well rounded young people who work hard, and have an incredible amount of fun at the same time.”
Stingray swimmers can be seen in action at the Lions Aquatic Centre on Friday, Sept. 30 for Friday Night Lights mid- and long-distance races; and on Saturday, Oct. 1 for the Cayman National Sprint Meet. Swimming action starts at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 and at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 1.