By Christopher Tobutt
The Lions’ Pool in George Town was the scene of some serious diving and swimming, as the Stingray Swim Club, Seven Mile Swimmers and Camana Bay Aquatics Club got together for the Pete Ribbins Swim Meet, on 17, 18, and 19 January. Friday was for the ten-and-under age-group, and Saturday and Sunday were for the 11 to 18’s.
The Pete Ribbins Meet is the second to last chance that a lot of senior kids have to qualify for CARIFTA,” said Stingray’s Vice President Lynne Walton. “it’s a two-day meet for the seniors, and we spread out the sessions over two days to give them the best opportunity to recover and to swim fast. They will be doing all events, including our long distance events, the 800m and 1500m which they don’t do at every meet and there are also relays which are really fun for the kids. The events include our ‘distance’ swims, which are 1500s 200s and 400m in in all strokes, that is, breast stroke, butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle. Then we also do the IM (individual Medley) events all four strokes in one race, and the 50 meters sprints as well.
“It is a chance for them to work up to a plateau, where it will be the strongest and the fastest in the season, and that’s building up to CARIFTA which is over the Easter Weeked in Barbados. If they swim fast enough to meet a qualifying time, then certainly this will count; If they don’t then they will still have have one more opportunity at the National championships which is in February, and they are held once at the Camana Bay Pool once a year.”
The Stingray Swim Club has been helping young people with their dream of taking part in competitive swimming since 1996, and has turned out many champions over the years, through its comprehensive swimming programme for people of all ages. The aim of the club is also to build lifetime swimmers, but can also provide specialized training, and of course, a friendly atmosphere where swimmers are encouraged.
Stingray is a ‘not-for-profit’ organization that relies on its membership to fund the Club’s activities such as paying for coaches and providing swimmers with good facilities and opportunities to advance.
Seven Mile Swimmers is also a not-for-profit organization based at the Lions Pool of Grand Cayman. It is a multifaceted swimming organisation, dedicated to the sport of swimming; emphasizing personal achievement; and just plain old having fun. Their Head Coach, Darren Mew is a two time Olympic finalist and former world number two, and has held Commonwealth, British and English records as well as setting the fourth fastest 100m breaststroke time in world history, in April 2004.
Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) is a competitive swim team for swimmers aged from 5 to 18 years old, and offers its members coaching instruction and a fun, inclusive club atmosphere. The Pete Ribbins Memorial Meet honours the former General Manager of Cayman Water, who passed away in 2010, and was remembered as a triathlete.