In a bid to assist Cayman’s amateur swimmers reach their full potential during the CARIFTA (Caribbean Free Trade Association) Swim Championships held in Kingston, Jamaica at the end of March and beginning of April, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) was pleased to be able to donate free of charge ECG testing for those athletes who competed. These tests are used to screen for underlying cardiac problems in athletes.
The donation was made to the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association’s CARIFTA participants and is part of a medical screening procedure required for all CARIFTA team members whereby each individual’s physical and physiological state is assessed prior to the competition in order to flag any concerns.
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.
He went on to explain the importance of strict health checks for participants before the CARIFTA Swim Championships.
“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,” he stated.
Lizzette Yearwood, Chief Executive Officer at the HSA confirmed that they were delighted to be able to do their part in helping the CARIFTA swimmers compete at their highest levels.
“The Health Services Authority was very happy to support our swimmers by donating part of this compulsory medical screening test free of charge,” she said.
Ms Yearwood went on to say 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.
Mr MacKay confirmed that as the sport of swimming develops in the Cayman Islands, CIASA continues to look at ways to ensure the physical and physiological well being of the Islands’ young athletes and are also looking to 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.