More than 180 swimmers hit the pool on Saturday, 15 May, for the annual Lions Sprint Meet at the Lions Aquatic Centre.
“It’s a great turnout,” Stingray head coach David Pursley told the Cayman Compass. “I’m very excited about it and happy to be partnering with the Lions [Club of Grand Cayman] with everything that they do for us.”
The meet featured both senior and junior swimmers from Camana Bay Aquatic Club, Seven Mile Swimmers, Stingray Swim Club, Seven Mile Swimmers and Cayman Brac Barracudas. The athletes had been hoping to get an opportunity to represent the Cayman Islands at the 2021 CARIFTA Aquatics Championships, but those hopes were scrapped earlier this month, when that event was cancelled.
“Well, there’s no CARIFTA, so, it’s less opportunities for them to represent Cayman this summer,” said Pursley. “In fact, the only opportunity they will get, and we’re not even certain [about], is CCCAN, and this was the last weekend to qualify [for that event].”
Pursley confirmed that while no swimmers qualified for CCCAN at the Lions sprint, he said several had already earned their spots prior to Saturday’s event. He added that the Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association is looking at alternatives to keep the athletes active.
“There is a meet in Florida, that we will be able to go to. It’s a really big meet, the [International Swim Coaches Association] meet, and we will be able to take our college kids with us too, which isn’t something we can do at CARIFTA. So that’s the bonus, to have the whole team together.”
As the Lions continue their partnership with CIASA, Michael Havlin, second vice president of the service club as well as the swim meet organiser, said in a press release there are still plans to enhance the long-time swimming facility.
“We would like to again publicly support the initiative to move forward with the new Cayman Islands Aquatic Centre in which many more swimmers can show off their prowess in a world class facility,” he said.
2021 Lions Sprint scores
1st Stingray Swim Club: 286
2nd Seven Mile Swimmers: 241
3rd CBAC: 234
4th Darren Mew Sports: 54
5th Cayman Brac Barracudas: 10
Pursley thanked the Lions for “[coming] through every year, providing the awards and everything. It’s also free of charge for all the swimmers. It’s always a big help, which is why it’s one of the biggest meets of the year,” he told the Compass.