Archive for December 9th, 2012

Cayman swim team enjoys success in the UK

Cayman swim team enjoys success in the UK

| 09/12/2012 | 0 Comments

Stingrays.gif(CIASA): Stingray Swim Club members Lara Butler, Geoffrey Butler and Matthew Courtis put in a stellar performance last weekend at the South West Regional Short Course Championships in the UK, achieving personal bests, a CIASA record and CARIFTA qualifying times. Cayman Swimming’s Technical Director, Coach Ian Armiger, was delighted with the results, saying, “Cayman’s swimmers are training hard and the results are coming in where we want them to." The event took place at Millfield School in England. The South West region covers the six counties of Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Gloucester making this meet highly competitive.

On the first day of competition Lara Butler, competing for her UK based club Plymouth Leander, and Matthew Courtis, who swims in the UK for Kelly’s College, both reached the finals in their events and then both placed 6th in their respective finals.

Lara swam 2:24.09 in the heats of the 200m butterfly to make it through to the final; and then showed consistent form by going 2:24.15 in the finals. Earlier in the meet she posted a 30.25 50m butterfly and a 1:00.22 100m freestyle. Her freestyle and 200m butterfly times are both inside the Island Games Qualifying Standard (the NatWest Islands Games XV take place in Bermuda, July 13-19th 2013).

Geoffrey Butler, also competing for Plymouth Leander, is better known in Cayman and at CARIFTA for his strength in the longer distances and open water. He took to the shorter distances on the opening day and was pleased with his 1:56.86 200m freestyle, one hundredth of a second outside his Island Games time but well inside the CARIFTA 2013 time. He also went 2:14.60 200m IM and 4:48.19 400m IM. Geoffrey then went on to swim the race of his life, setting a huge personal best and clinching a silver medal in the 1500m freestyle with a time of 16:07.20. Earlier that same day he recorded another lifetime best of 4:06.82 in the 400m freestyle, finishing in 6th place.

Matthew Courtis raced to a 2:12.44 in the final of the 200m individual medley but also recorded a 59.41 100m butterfly and 1:56.96 200m freestyle. Matthew raced head to head with teammate Geoff in the 400m freestyle, finishing 8th with a respectable 4:08.57.  He then went on to place 8th in the 200m butterfly with a sub 2:10 effort of 2:09.32.

Closing out Cayman’s Success for the meet, Lara Butler raced to a 2:26.50 200m IM, 1:06.95 100m back and a 28.48 50m freestyle. She completed the meet with two new CISA Records to her name; the 100m freestyle at 1:00.22 and the 50m butterfly at 30.25.

Mr. Arminger said, "We are seeing swimmers posting qualifying times in this UK meet for the Islands Games; and before that in Toronto and in Cayman for CARIFTA 2013 in Kingston, Jamaica. Our motto is “Fast Swimming” and we are living it every day – at training and in competition. Congratulations Lara, Geoffrey and Matthew.”

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SaxonMG begins Drivers’ Ed Programme

SaxonMG begins Drivers’ Ed Programme

| 09/12/2012 | 0 Comments

drivers ed (300x261).jpg(CNS): SaxonMG, one of Cayman’s leading insurance firms, has commenced its annual Drivers’ Education Programme in partnership with Saxon Motor and General Insurance Company, Prestige Motors, Cico Avis Rental Car Company, the Department of Vehicle and Drivers Licensing (DVDL) and the education ministry. At the close of last season’s sessions, the education minister, had saidhe was very pleased to see that such a programme had been made available to young drivers in Cayman. Rolston Anglin who recently pleaded guilty to charges of drunk-driving said he wanted to see the programme grow and extend its reach to other students throughout Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.

Since it began in October 2011, over 370 students from John Gray and Clifton Hunter high schools have participated in the theoretical course, which was conducted by Sr. Inspector Roy Bush and Burmon Scott from the Department of Vehicle and Driver’s Licensing.

Brian Williams, CEO of SaxonMG said, “By offering this programme to 16-year-old students, these young drivers will be able to apply the principals they learn to be better drivers tomorrow.”

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Purple Dragon professor honours black belts

Purple Dragon professor honours black belts

| 09/12/2012 | 0 Comments

Sensei-Cindy-Allison.gif(PD): Three dedicated youngsters were honoured last week by Professor Don Jacob, the founder of Purple Dragon Don Jitsu Ryu System, when he presented them with their black belts at a special ceremony held at Cayman’s Purple Dragon Dojo at the Mirco Centre. At the ceremony, Sensei Karen Baptiste and Sensei Cindy Allison were also promoted to their fourth-degree black belts.  Both women also earned renchi sensei belts, marking a peak of personal achievement for them. To gain this prestigious accolade all five black belt recipients had taken part in a grueling three day grading event in August at the Purple Dragon World Headquarters in Trinidad, along-side 30 other black belt candidates from around the world.

The ceremonial presentation of their black belts last week marked the culmination of years of dedication to improve their skills and enhance their fitness, both mentally and physically.

Sensei Floyd runs Cayman’s Purple Dragon Dojo (training hall) and explained that the youngsters were able to realise this incredible achievement at such a young age through strength of character as much as body strength.  “11 year old Dante Baptiste of St Ignatius, 10 year old Luke Byles from Cayman Prep, and Joshua Kerr of Grace Academy also aged 10, demonstrated tremendous dedication and determination and we are all extremely proud of them.” he said.

“Years of commitment to training culminated in the demanding three day event in Trinidad where they were required to undertake vigorous testing, performing different drills, katas, sparring, endurance and exercise routines. The testing, which was the same for the all the candidates, regardless of age, was as much a test of their mental will, discipline and self-confidence as it was their physical abilities and they clearly demonstrated that they were able to take on the challenges that lay ahead of them.  These skills will serve them well in the future, both in the dojo and in every other aspect of their lives.”

Describing the last of the challenging three days, during which time they ate and slept together at the dojo, Luke Byles explained that “Sunday was the most exciting day to me.  We woke at 4am and went on the 5 mile run.  While on the run we had to stay with the team and sing chants until Professor said “go” and then we had to run as fast as we could to the end.  Then we had breakfast, and then the sparring (fighting) which was very exciting.  Then it was time for the results.”

Dante Baptiste added, “when they called us to get our results, my friends Luke and Josh and I were called up and we got our first degree “jet black” belts.  The Cayman Purple Dragon team had survived the three days of black belt grading”.

Sensei Karen and Sensei Cindy were put through the same high level of testing for the 4th time to achieve their Fourth degree black belts.   Awardee Sensei Karen Baptiste explained that all the black belt awards were the result of a combined effort by everyone at the Purple Dragon Dojo.  

She said, “Attaining the level of black belt is the culmination of an extreme amount of effort by many people. Our instructors are dedicated to our development and are instrumental in our success,” she said. “We are extremely grateful to Sensei Atonio, who put us all through an incredible 3 month training programme leading up to the black belt grading, and to all our instructors and fellow students at Purple Dragon.  Thanks also to Sensei Floyd and Sensei Geddes for their continuous support, to our friends and family and especially to Professor Don Jacob, for his leadership and continued inspiration.  He and his wife also showed us all great hospitality when we were in Trinidad, for which we are very grateful”

Asked for their thoughts on their achievements, 11 year old Dante commented “I felt so happy and relieved that I made it, and that I persevered and never gave up”, while 10 year old Joshua said, “I feel I have gained a greater sense of responsibility and that that this is only the beginning of my training”.  10 year old Luke added that there were candidates grading from around the world, but that “while we were grading it’s like you are all from the same place”.  

Sensei Floyd applauded everyone who managed to achieve such a high accolade and confirmed that they are truly representative of the Purple Dragon theme for the grading: “We Are Purple Dragon: No Artificiality, Only Originality”.

He said, “At Purple Dragon we challenge our members to show tremendous dedication and spirit and to stand out positively to help better their lives. I believe that these five individuals have demonstrated these virtues. Well done to everyone for the hard work that they undertook to develop their mental and physical stamina to such great lengths.”

For more information about the Purple Dragon Martial Arts programmes, call 946-1241, email: , visit or www.facebook/purpledragoncayman.

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Registration now open for Camana Bay swim school

Registration now open for Camana Bay swim school

| 09/12/2012 | 0 Comments

CBAC-Swim-School_LR.gif(CBAC): Aspiring swimmers can learn to swim and progress basic water skills at the Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) Swim School, launching January 2013. Classes for children, adults and caregivers will take place at the Camana Bay Pool and term will run from Monday 7 January to Sunday 3 March. Registration is now open. Swimming is an essential skill for people living in the Cayman Islands. Ensuring your child learns to swim at an early age not only provides a number of health and social benefits – but could also one day save a life. The philosophy behind the new programme from the Islands’ top competitive swim club is to provide an environment where the enjoyment and practice of water-based skills leads to happy, confident and competent swimmers.

“The great thing about swimming is that people of any age or ability can take part,” explains CBAC Swim Instructor Caleb Miller. “We teach swimming in a way that provides young swimmers with the grounding they need to progress successively into the world of competitive swimming at an early age. The start they make at the CBAC Swim School will provide them with that opportunity if they wish.” Miller joined the Camana Bay Aquatic Club in September this year with 11 years of coaching and teaching experience, ranging from learn-to-swim to national-level swimming. Miller began teaching swimming at 15 years-old at his local YMCA and has a level 3 ASCA certification.

The Swim School pre-launched in October with 25 swimmers and great results. “Lessons are centred on developing strong foundation skills today, to create successful swimmers tomorrow,” says Miller. “The student-instructor ratio of each class is designed to give beginner swimmers the positive reinforcement they need to get swimming off to a good start.”

“We also offer adult beginner and intermediate lessons, and caregiver classes for adults working with children around water,” Miller adds. This series covers water safety and rescue skills, while increasing swimming ability and comfort levels in the water.

The small group classes are broken down in to eight levels to ensure appropriate placement of each child for their water experience and age. Each level represents a certain set of skills that a swimmer must complete before moving up to the next level. Youth classes run throughout the week, while adult and caregiver classes take place on Saturday mornings.

GRUNTS: For littlest fish ages 6 to 36 months with little or no water experience. Infants and toddlers will acclimate to an aquatic environment and begin to lay a foundation for swimming skills using songs and games. Parent or caregiver participation is required for this class.

FLOUNDERS: Designed for preschoolers ages 30 months to 5 years. This is a beginner level lesson that focuses on teaching swimmers to float on their backs unaided and basic crawl stroke with faces in the water.

SQUIRRELS: Designed for preschoolers ages 30 months to 5 years. This is an advance beginner level lesson that focuses on teaching swimmers to kick on their backs unaided and front crawl with arms recovering over the water. Swimmers in this level may progress directly to snappers.

JACKS: Designed for school age children ages 5 and over. This is a beginner level lesson that focuses on teaching swimmers to kick on their backs unaided and front crawl with faces in and arms recovering over the water.

SNAPPERS: Designed for children 5 years-old and over, this advanced beginner level focuses on teaching swimmers freestyle breathing techniques and backstroke.

BARRACUDAS: An intermediate level that focuses on freestyle bilateral breathing, backstroke with hip rotation and rhythmic breaststroke for swimmers aged 5 years-old and over.

WAHOOS: An intermediate level for swimmers aged 6 years-old and over that masters freestyle and back stroke technique, as well as rhythmic breaststroke and dolphin kick.
MARLINS: Swimmers aged 6 years-old and over will learn skills that they need for participation on a swim team in this advanced level class.

“I’m excited to see how far the Club has come in two short years,” says CBAC President, Jeffrey Wight. “And looking forward to the launch of the next phase of the CBAC story as we continue to grow and develop.” Wight notes that the success of the Club – and growing interest in the sport – owes a good deal to the pool and sports facilities at Camana Bay.
At 25 metres, the Camana Bay Pool is the largest heated competition pool in the Cayman Islands. “Having access to the Camana Bay Pool helps advance the sport and provides more opportunities for swimming and youth,” he says. “We are pleased to be able to offer introductory level swimming to the local community interested in learning to swim, whether competitively or just for fun.”

For more information on the Camana Bay Aquatic Club Swim School and its programmes, visit For the Swim School schedule and price list or to register, contact or call 345.326.7580.

For more information and to stay up to date with the latest happenings at the Camana Bay Aquatic Club, like Camana Bay Aquatic Club on Facebook.

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