As Minister of Sport, I am thrilled to be here. Seeing so many people competing –from Olympic medalists right through to youngsters, moms, dads and grandparents – was incredible today, especially seeing the sea come alive with your collective effort.
In my turn, I especially want to encourage all our younger swimmers to keep it up. Train hard and participate as often as you can, because, as our own Olympians will attest, sport can take you places.
For me though, today’s event is also proof of the power of sport: Once again, friends, family, and visitors from around the world came together to share a special day on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. As always, the Flowers Sea Swim has allowed us to admire and to be inspired. And we can always hope that some of this year’s supporters on the beach will be motivated to get in the water, train and become participants in next year’s event.
I commend the Flowers Group – and in particular Frank and Dara Flowers – for their commitment to the development of ocean swimming in Cayman. What started as a small idea 17 years ago is now an international event with over 500 participants.
My ministry is honoured to sponsor an event of this caliber, and since I readily admit to an unbridled sports addiction, I can also assure you that we will continue to support this and other similar sporting events. We believe that Cayman has the potential of becoming an even more significant international sports destination and promoting sport here also proffers the added benefit of giving our youngsters positive role models and a creative outlet for their energies.
So, before I present our visiting Olympians and international coaches with tokens of appreciation, let me conclude by saying that everyone here today is a champion, for whether you won, placed, or just made it past the one mile mark, participation is surely the most meaningful prize.
I therefore sincerely hope that everyone, especially our visitors here today, will return next year, and swell the numbers by bringing along even more friends.