(CMR) Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) has started its 2021/22 aquatics season at the Camana Bay Pool under the leadership of newly promoted Head Swim Coach Grant Ferguson.
Denis Corin, Chairman of Camana Bay Aquatic Club, said the club was pleased to see the appointment of a coach of such high caliber.
“Coach Grant brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to CBAC and we believe he is the perfect fit to lead the swim club into the new season and build upon the great foundation already in place,” he said.
“He has a proven track record in developing the potential of swimmers, regardless of age or ability, and his proven relationship with our athletes and his energy and passion for the sport make him the ideal head coach for our Club.”
Ferguson has coached at CBAC since 2019 and has been instrumental in the club’s evolution to a parent and coach-run club after members took over its operations from DART. Cayman’s youngest ever Olympian, Jillian Crooks, also benefited from Ferguson’s coaching on her recent journey to Tokyo.
With the help of the CBAC hiring committee, one of Ferguson’s first responsibilities was to recruit a new assistant coach. Fellow South African Rob Harrington has been hired, and he is currently in Cayman and expected to exit quarantine this week.
Ferguson said he was excited to bolster the coaching staff and to bring his personal flair and experience to the club’s programs across the board.
“I’m looking forward to building a great team of coaches and to growing our Club’s membership from learn-to-swim and our younger athletes, right through to our high performing seniors,” he said.
Ferguson’s coaching career spans over 20 years, most of which was undertaken in his home country, South Africa. In 2007 he started the Knysna Swimming Academy in South Africa and, during the following twelve years, saw 4,000 swimmers pass through the swim school and competitive programs. Sixty-five of his swimmers have since qualified for the Senior National Competition with several National record holders, one of whom he trained from age seven and is a 2019 World Junior Championship Finalist and most recently a 2020 Olympian.
Ferguson competed as a swimmer before becoming a coach. He was a South African champion in 100m breaststroke. He received a full scholarship to The University of Nebraska and from there was recruited to California, where he represented Orange Coast College, earning the ‘Athlete of the Year’ award twice, as well as the ‘Most Valuable Player’ trophy for the state of California. Ferguson completed his studies at the University of Hawaii, where he held the fastest 50m breaststroke time in the world for a short period of time.
“I love Cayman, and I love the Club we have built,” Ferguson said. “CBAC is my new home. Coaching is my passion, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Corin said CBAC’s coaches and assistants had delivered a busy summer camp program for its community which flowed into the swim season that would see over 330 swimmers in the pool for both swimming and artistic (synchro) swimming.
“We are experiencing a very busy pool for the next few weeks as we have opened our doors to athletes from the Island’s other swim clubs while the Lions Pool is under repair,” he said.
“The CBAC Artistic Swimming program, which is the largest in the Caribbean, continues to build upon its success, and we are proud to be sending athletes to the Jr PanAm Games in November.
“Together with a strong Masters group, some of whom competed in the 5+ mile open-water The Cayman Bogue event this past weekend, CBAC is looking forward to a season of continued growth and success,” Corin said.