Let swimmers back in the ocean

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived to live on Grand Cayman was the culture of exercise and the number of people busily either running, cycling or swimming. There was sports activity everywhere.

The first event I watched was Stroke and Stride and I was amazed at the participation level and competitiveness on display. Every other month, there seemed to be another running, cycling or swimming competition with participants across all levels.

Everyone has their favourite sport. Mine is swimming. I was lucky enough after arriving on-island to fall into a group of swimmers who met weekly and swam various long distances in the open sea. It was our exercise and our meditation, a mindful release from life’s problems while staying fit and healthy and coming face-to-face with fish of various colours and sizes!

I believe the premier is a keen cyclist and we hear Dr. John Lee extolling the virtues of running during his excellent daily briefings. I have begun to wonder if swimming is represented on the council of leaders making the decisions to allow or disallow an activity?

While I understand the premier’s irritation at the flouting of lockdown rules by a small minority of beach users, is it fair to punish the entire swimming community who wish only to practise a COVID-19-safe, naturally socially distant and healthy sport in the ocean?

We have seen how calmly the majority of residents have adapted to the rules enforced upon them. There must surely be a way to let the adults on the island display their social responsibility and reopen the ocean for active swimming.

Paul Kean

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