Sports Minister gives pep talk to CARIFTA swim team

Cayman Islands 2017 CARIFTA Swim team with Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden.

Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden stopped by Lions Pool Friday evening, 7 April, to meet with members of the national swim team heading to the CARIFTA Championships in the Bahamas.

“It’s good to know that we’re sending our largest contingent. You guys always represent so well when you put on those Cayman colours,” Mr Bodden told 28 of the 31 swimmers who will be representing the islands at the 15-19 April championships.

During his time with the swimmers for a photo op on the deck of the 25-metre pool, the minister said he would work to get the much-talked about 50-metre pool in Grand Cayman, so local swimmers can better prepare for international meets.

“One day, we hope to get you one of them here. We’re going to really work hard on that. If I’m back, that’s going to happen. If I’ve got to dig that hole by myself, that’s going to happen,” he told the swimmers, who were joined by parents and coaches.

The Sports Ministry provided the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) with additional financing to the tune of $23,000 to fund their participation in the CARIFTA Swimming Championships.

Mr Bodden told it was important for the ministry to help out where it can, even though it already provides annual funding to the association.

“Swimming is one of the sports that put us on the map, so to speak. It is important that if there is any shortfall or anything of that nature, we try our best to support because swimming is such a dedicated sport. The people who are involved in swimming – the parents and the coaches – put so much into it.

“They really are dedicated and they do their best to take care of themselves but government supports and there are times when we have to support them additionally to get to games like this. It is always rewarding because every time they go into the water, they represent well and bring back a lot of medals,” Mr Bodden said. “I know they are going to go over there and give it their best.”

Last year, Cayman won seven gold medals, two silvers and one bronze at the CARIFTA Championships in Martinique.

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