Replying to a comment from Chris Nash.
Oh, Chris started out asking if HD Morgans had a website. Don’t think so, but it does have great steaks (it is a new steakhouse in town), and the chef (Big Brian) is my next door neighbour….. for the red meat lovers in town, definitely worth a visit, but bring your appetite, portions are enormous !
Anyway, re swimming, my involvement with swimming is on the board of CIASA, the national body responsible for the sport, with a particular focus on developing the sport and facilities (we are shooting to build a world class 50m pool facility, and hope to have some great news to make public later this year).
Cayman is a small island, so many sports find it tough to provide competition for their athletes, so swimming is ideal. First of all swimming is a sport done against the clock, so a time is a time is a time, no matter where it is swum. Second, swimmers tend to only peak for competition a few times per year, so our swimmers train hard at home all year, then peak for a few overseas trips a year. It works well, as shown by our results.
Why do I get so involved ? Well, my kids are in the sport, but that is how I discovered it, not why I am involved. I am involved because the sport, as run in Cayman, is dedicated to achieving the very best. Whatever is done, is done well, mediocrity is not acceptable. As you can imagine, with some sports on a small island, it is easy enough to settle for “good enough”. Good enough to be on the national team and represent the island… even if not good enough to contend internationally. Swimming however, is a sport where Cayman does not settle for second best in their athletes, and I support that wholeheartedly and feel that this provides excellent life lessons for the athletes.
For adults, there are two avenues available. First of all, there is a very active Masters group, which swims in the pool twice a week, and also some of them swim regularly in the sea. The pool group is run by (we are spoiled here), Mike Barrowman, Olympic gold medallist and past world record holder… a legend to breastrokers (and an all round good guy!).
Secondly, we have an active open water swim schedule, and some of the best open water swimming conditions in the world, right off 7MB.
I almost forgot, one more option is triathlon, with a flat island and great weather conditions, we have lots of keen triathletes.
Of course for those with hand/eye co-ordination (sorry, small dig there from a racquet sports player… ie me), we have a great squash club (7 courts!), which is about to re-open after extensive renovations and upgrades post-Ivan. Our squash team has a great track record regionally, with numerous Caribbean junior, senior and team championships in the past. For adults moving to the island, give squash a try, it is a great workout and the social life (the bar afterwards!) is worth a look to… of course I could be biased… I met my wife playing squash, and we both have played for the national team for more years than I can count.
Right, that’s the “local knowledge” post for the night out of the way !