SWIMMING: Big first for Cayman Brac

The 23rd Annual Mike Lockwood Memorial (MLM) Swim Meet wrapped up at the Cayman Brac Sports Complex swimming pool on Monday (October 19) after three days of competition.

The meet marked the second major sanction event held in 2020 since the COVID-19 lockdown, outside the Landon Von Kanel swim meet last month.

However, it was the first sanctioned meet held at the newly constructed 25-metre swimming pool since it’s grand opening by Prince Charles in March last year.

Swimmers, parents and supporters alike, traveled from Grand Cayman to be apart of the historic event hosted by Stingray Swim Club. Also in attendance, was the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell and Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

“It’s a great start and we’re very proud of it,” said the Minister of Sports, O’Connor-Connolly. “All the children are competing and their parents have come along. We are in the mitts of COVID-19 and many people need that stress release, so it’s very exciting to have the swim meet happening here today at this brand new, awesome facility.”

Over 60 athletes from Stingray Swim Club, Camana Bay Aquatic Club, Seven Mile Swimmers and the Sister Islands Swim Club (Brac Barracudas) combine, represented their respective teams during the well attended event.

Athletes like Brac Barracudas’ Keira Bodden, who told Cay 03 Sports, she was excited to compete against swimmers from Grand Cayman and to also used the event as learning experience.

“To see them come here and swim, we can also learn from them and use them as an example,” said Bodden. “It’s a great adrenaline rush because there is not much people on the Brac and then you see all these people come down so it’s like, I wanna do this and make sure I win against these people. But this is a very special event and a great experience.”

The Cayman Brac Sports Complex swimming facility is situated on the bluff and holds the only 25-metre swimming pool within the Sister Islands. Photo credit: Tim Daley

The estimated 2-million dollar swimming facility is one approved by Stingray’s Swim Club head coach David Pursley.

“Without a doubt, this is the best pool within the three islands,” said Pursley. “I think the nationals should be held here every year and what I’m hoping is, come April time, if we’re not able to travel; we need to come back here and have our big meet.”

According to O’Connor-Connolly, the Sister Islands Swim Club will be getting some fresh faces in the near future to occupy the swimming facility in the Brac. “My ministry has allocated funds for two swim coaches to go along with the programs here but we just don’t have the infrastructure,” said O’Connor-Connolly.

The facility in the Brac now has it’s own set of records following the event and several swimmers left with personal best times. Results will be posted once released by officials. In addition, the annual meet is expected to be held in the Brac moving forward.

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