Athletes, clubs resume training

ESM coaches are back on the pitch and wearing their face shields.

Several of Cayman’s sports teams and clubs have resumed training athletes in groups of 25 or less following the government’s ease on COVID-19 restrictions announced last month.

Stingray Swim Club, Camana Bay Aquatic Club and football outfit Excel Sports Management (ESM) are among those that been sharpening their athletes’ skills and keeping them active with in-person workouts, after months of being prohibited from doing so due to coronavirus suppression measures.

“The players were generally very happy to be back at the football field with their friends,” ESM director Virgil Seymour said via phone message. “There was definite apprehension and worry for some, so coaches took time to reassure [them] and demonstrate safety measures, and allow players to participate in any way they found comfortable. The children have quickly adjusted to safety measures and have started to appear more relaxed and comfortable back together.”

Sarah and sister Alison Jackson pre-training at Governors Beach.

After receiving permission to reopen football training on 10 June, ESM coaches were tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to work. They wear face shields during training (players do not) and the field is marked with six-foot boxes to ensure physical distancing. Players disinfect their hands upon arrival at the facility and parents are to remain in cars during drop-off/pick-up. Players are also given a disinfected ball and are prohibited from sharing water bottles.

Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) has been working alongside Stingray Swim Club for several weeks of open water training off Governor’s Beach. CBAC head coach Hayley Palmer said she wasted no time getting her athletes back in the water following the government’s easing of restrictions on gatherings.

“As soon as they opened it up for group fitness, we were able to get an exemption to work with our kids one-on-one, which was tremendously valuable because a lot of them really needed it,” said Palmer.

“The big thing is; in swimming – when it comes to water fitness – if you’re out of the water, you can be the fittest person on the planet, but if you don’t spend any time in the water, it’s a big difference,” said Palmer. “So, our priority right now is to get as much water time as we can. We have the programmes, the drills … we’ve got the work they need to do to get their technique right.”

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