Swimming association gets free ECG testing

| 20/04/2013

swimmers.gif(CNS): The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) donated free ECG testing to swimmers who competed in the CARIFTA (Caribbean Free Trade Association) Swim Championships held in Kingston, Jamaica at the end of March. These tests are used to screen for underlying cardiac problems in athletes, part of a medical screening procedure required for all CARIFTA team members in which each individual’s physical and physiological state is assessed prior to the competition. Peter MacKay, President of the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) said that Cayman made great strides at this year’s CARIFTA Swim Championships.

“CIASA saw 18 of our members participate in this year’s CARIFTA Swim Championships and they enjoyed stellar success, with Cayman winning a total of 14 medals, including three gold, to finish 10th overall in this year’s CARIFTA championships,” he confirmed.

MacKay explained the importance of strict health checks for participants before the CARIFTA Swim Championships, saying, “The CIASA has a requirement to maintain records with regards to medications its athletes have taken, including those for allergies, so that the team managers and coaches have the full medical picture with regard to each participant. This is particularly crucial because strict anti-doping procedures must be adopted for swimmers over the age of 14 years.”

Lizzette Yearwood, Chief Executive Officer at the HSA said, “The Health Services Authority was very happy to support our swimmers by donating part of this compulsory medical screening test free of charge.” Ms. Yearwood said that this year three swimmers had already been screened as part of the Cardiac Risk Assessment Programme recently initiated by the Cayman Islands Government.

The ECG screenings were performed by Dr Nigel Boothe and Dr Sook Yin.  Dr Boothe is a physician for Accident & Emergency at the HSA and is the father of two CARIFTA swimmers.

Peter MacKay said that as the sport of swimming develops in the Cayman Islands, CIASA continues to look for ways to ensure the physical and physiological well being of the Islands’ athletes as well as are use the information obtained from the medical screenings to enhance performance. “A donation such as the one our swimmers received from the HSA will help us greatly in our mission and for that reason we are extremely grateful to the Authority,” MacKay said.

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