By Christopher Tobutt
The Cayman Cabana in George Town was the scene was a big reception for all of Cayman’s young CARIFTA heroes who brought home a huge haul of 65 medals, 57 in pool (25 gold, 23 silver and 9 bronze) and four in open water (2 golds, 1 Silver and 1 bronze), and in athletics, one gold, one silver and 2 bronze.
His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper was busy shaking hands and congratulating all the young people on the CARIFTA team. He commented, “They all did incredibly well, we are all really proud of them. To win so many swimming medals was a fabulous achievement and also Andrew Stone in the Long Jump did amazingly well too so, “proud of them all.”
17-year-old Kyra Rabess, co-captain of the swimming team, won an amazing nine medals altogether, five golds (in the 5k, the 800m, the 400m, the 200m and the 4 by 200m relay) three silvers and one bronze. “It was really fun to go there especially with such a big team,” she said, “It was really nice to connect with the younger ones, especially the 11 and 12-year-old kids. It’s good to watch them come up, and be the new superstars for Cayman.”
It was 13-year-old Jack Clark-Terrell’s very first CARIFTA, and although he didn’t win any medals this time, he will next time, he says. “It was wonderful,” he said, “I got to experience a new culture and meet new friends from different places, and get an idea of the competitiveness of overseas swim-meets.” Kassandra Adapa is only 12, and she got a bronze medal in the 4x100 relay. “Barbados was amazing. It was very much fun and I would definitely love to go again. I haven’t swam in a 50 meter pool in a few years and it was a big difference.” And this is a point worth making – that the pools available for practice are not 50 meters, which is the standard, so that all the pool swimmers did even better- because they had to quickly adapt to the greater length. But there are plans and money put aside for a 50-meter pool, so that is good news.
But it wasn’t only swimmers who got the medals. In Track & Field. John Gray High School student, Jerrell Maize participated in the 100m and 200m and won a bronze in the 4x100 relay. “It was my first time at CARIFTA it was more fun than I expected.” Giving him a hi-five, his dad, Jermaine Maize said, “I am 100 percent proud. It was his first CARIFTA games and he did very well, actually exceeded my expectations.”
Hon Minister Bernie Bush MP said, “As I look around the talented dedicated young athletes it gives me great hope for the future of sports in the Cayman Islands. Many of the qualities needed to excel in the competitive world of sports such as commitment to excellence, setting personal goals, teamwork and resilience, are the very same traits that can be transferred into other areas in your life.
“In Barbados our swimming team smashed their record 2017 CARIFTA games haul, by an astounding 11 medals resulting in a 61-medal winning streak, which not only earned them top place in the medal rankings, solidifying Cayman’s reputation in CARIFTA’s swimming history again.”
27 Jan, 2020
15 Sep, 2021
15 Sep, 2021
15 Sep, 2021