After a successful 2019 National Championships that saw 18 records fall and the list of CARIFTA qualifiers rise to 27 swimmers, the Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association (CIASA) is riding high. Those results have restarted the conversation about the newly proposed aquatics centre.
In July, both CIASA and Government confirmed a 50/50 partnership on the facility estimated at roughly CI$6,000,000.
However, the conversation has gone quiet over the last eight months. Aquatic Centre Committee President Stephen Broadbelt says both sides have been working diligently to make the facility a reality.
“There’s been a lot going on in the background since October of last year, when we had our Annual General Meeting, and updated our CIASA members,” said Mr. Broadbelt.
One of the latest tweaks to the proposed new aquatics centre was the structural change to meet Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) specifications, ensuring the water stays at 78 degrees.
“Our pool reaches 90 degrees, so one of the big changes that has caused some delay is that we’ve decided to do something with a covered roof,” said Mr. Broadbelt. “It’s not an indoor stadium, but it is completely swimming pool.”
Mr. Broadbelt said the group canvassed the George Town neighbourhood for any concerns with the facility.
“One resident said the garbage dumpster would wake them up at four o’clock in the morning, so we moved it,” said Mr. Broadbelt. “Just little things like that to make it fit in with the neighbourhood of the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.”
At the opening ceremonies of the National Championships, government reassured Cayman’s swimming community it is still on board with the project.
“As one of the six focus sports, the government is committed to swimming and making sure each of you have access to the resources you will need to excel and advance as you can in the sport,” said Sports Councillor David Wight.
After 20 years of ongoing conversation on the project, Mr. Broabdbelt says the two sides are now working to put pen to paper.
“One other thing we are working on is a legal document,” said Mr. Broadbelt. “The Memorandum of Understanding, the details – all the aspects of the contract between government and CIASA that’s been drafted. We are just working through the details on that.”
As CIASA members keep hopes alive of a long awaited facility, Mr. Broadbelt says patience will pay off.
“All these critical steps that are not visible to the public,” said Broadbelt. “These are taking a lot of effort from CIASA and government.”