Swimmers test the waters as new season begins

Cayman swimmers vault off the line in the backstroke competition.

The swimming season opened late last month with the Cayman National Sprint Meet, and the island’s competitors got back in the blocks for the Camana Bay Aquatic Club Fall Kick-off last weekend.

The twin events gave the young swimmers an opportunity to set their times for the new season and a group of targets to pursue and improve upon as the year progresses. David Pursley, head coach of the Stingray Swim Club, said his charges have a lot to gain from measuring themselves against their peers.

The sprint meet was held at the Lions Aquatic Centre on 28 Sept., and it gave the swimmers an opportunity to find out where they stand in their respective age groups.

“Every year, [the event] provides our new swimmers with the opportunity to learn how to compete and the ins and outs of a swim meet,” said Pursley in a press release. “And our older, more experienced swimmers help lead and guide the younger and newer swimmers through the meet.

“The Sprint meets are much more than just racing and times on the board. They are team bonding and leadership development. It was a great weekend that the club truly benefited from.”

Cayman won a record 56 medals – 18 golds, 21 silvers and 17 bronze – at April’s CARIFTA championships in Barbados, and it added another nine medals in swimming at the Island Games in Gibraltar.

The Stingray swimmers will next compete in the Mike Lockwood Memorial set for 15-17 Nov. at the Lions Aquatic Centre, and the season will conclude with the Coconut Cup meet in December.

“It was good to see our swimmers competing in sprint and middle-distance events this past weekend,” said Pursley of the fall kick-off. “These first two meets of the season give us a good idea of where we are compared to this time last year and provide pointers on where we need to focus so that we can keep getting faster as the season progresses.

“And a big thank you to the officials and all the volunteers who invest so much time in our young swimmers. We – the coaches and the swimmers – truly appreciate their time as officiated meets are so important for the continued success of our young swimmers.”