The spirit of competition and camaraderie was on full display at the Camana Bay Sports Complex pool for four days in February, as the venue hosted the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association National Championships.
Well over a hundred swimmers took to the pool for a variety of events, all chasing glory in the form of medals, personal best times, records and spots on the national team that will travel to the Bahamas in April for the CARIFTA Swimming Championships.
The youngsters were out early for the preliminary rounds in the mornings and back again in the evenings for the finals of their events.
“It’s been very beneficial for the kids in terms of having a prelims and finals meet locally, which is what they’re used to when they go away to international competitions,” said CIASA President Michael Lockwood. “So, it’s very good for them to get that exposure.”
Officials, coaches and parents were pleased with the performances.
Lockwood said officials, coaches and parents were pleased with the performances, as the swimmers exceeded expectations. “It’s good to see that it’s always improving and that’s what we want. It’s always good to see that kids’ hard work pays off.”
Although it was a competitive event, four days bonding with friends is something many of the swimmers made the most of, as testified by Camana Bay Aquatic Club member Rory Barrett. “The highlight is just being able to come and swim with teammates, being able to swim some fast times, and being able to see where your training has brought you,” the 16-year-old said.
While Barrett and many others were familiar with the thrill of competition at the national level, the championships also welcomed firsttimers like Luke Dodson and Ben Coak of Seven Mile Swimmers, who agreed the experience was both fun and challenging.