As the 2016 CARIFTA games draw closer, coaches in Cayman are trying to find ways to secure funding to help get Cayman’s athletes off to the games.
Earlier this week Cayman’s Swimming Technical Director Bailey Weathers stated that, on average, Cayman’s CARIFTA team is only half the size of our larger neighbouring islands and the reason mostly boils down to funding.
Sports Minister Hon. Osbourne Bodden says he understands Mr. Weathers’ point and he too would like to see more athletes qualify and attend the games. However, there is nothing more that government can do right now as they are stretched thin.
“The truth is Government funds a lot and puts a lot into swimming and all other sports, and there is only so much that the Government can do,” said Minister Bodden.
He says perhaps the private sector maybe able to pick up where the government left off.
He made the remarks during an interview, a few days after the CIASA National Championships. Meet Director Dave Bott said, not only does the meet help to show the swimmers how much they have improved each year, it also prepares them for the bigger events of the real world.
Bott told Cayman 27, “It’s preparing the athletes for competing at a higher level than just here.”
Stingray Swim Club Coach David Pursely agreed with Bott and added that the competition helps to foster competitive spirits while building camaraderie.
“The team atmosphere really plays out in the meets, and the training does to,” said Pursely. He added, “As much as the results look individual, the effort and the whole backing and the support system behind it is absolutely a team sport.”
Each year, Cayman’s largest medal haul at the CARIFTA games comes from the pool.