Nanny Cay Marina and the Kids And The Sea (KATS) Swim
Program are joining forces for 2005 and 2006. Nanny Cay has signed on
as the official sponsor of the program dedicated to teaching the
children of the BVI to swim.
In addition to a cash contribution,
Nanny Cay will be providing the use of the Nanny Cay pool and provide
five scholarships for the 2005 program for pupils from the Ebenezer
Thomas Primary School in Sea Cows Bay. Scholarships will be awarded
based on a "Why I should Learn to Swim" writing competition due to be
run before the Summer swimming session.
"KATS Swim is an enormously important program that teaches the
children of this island nation to swim," said marina manager Miles
Sutherland-Pilch. "Nanny Cay has always supported the program with the
use of our swimming pool and hope that our financial contribution and
continued support will ensure even more success for the program.
in a place where even a shopping trip can involve getting on a boat,
the ability to swim is a must. But just as important as its life saving
quality, swimming is fun and being able to swim opens doors to many
recreational and vocational opportunities particularly here in the
sailing and boating capital of the world.
"All of us at Nanny
Cay are looking forward to seeing many, many children graduate from the
Nanny Cay KATS Swim program over the next few years."
Gardner, KATS Swim director, is very excited about this year’s program.
"We had 130 students last year and are expecting even more this year."
year’s Nanny Cay KATS Swim program will kick off on April 8th with a
swimming screening for all interested students at the Nanny Cay Pool
from 3 – 5:30 pm. Students will be placed into appropriate classes
which will run twice weekly for six weeks. There will be two six week
sessions, the first beginning on April 11 and the second, May 16th. On
April 16th, there will be a sea skills screening for students
interested in the KATS Basic Sea Skills Course. Those potential
students who do not pass the swim test, will be offered places in the
Nanny Cay KATS Swim program.
On Saturday, April 9th, from 10 –
4, the Nanny Cay KATS Swim program will be holding a training for
potential instructors. Swim instructors that taught last year are
encouraged to attend for a refresher course.
KATS Swim is an
outgrowth of the KATS Basic Seamanship Program. This program developed
in the US Virgin Islands in the late 1980s after an accident in which a
group of three boy scouts, who were on a camping expedition, drowned
after their boat sank. Not only did they lack the necessary sea skills
to handle a boating emergency, they were also unable to swim to safety
to the nearby shoreline. This tragic accident pointed out the
astounding absence of any youth water safety programs in the Virgin
Islands. Through the efforts of the Rotary Clubs and the Virgin Islands
Marine Advisory Service, the sea skills project, which became known as,
"Kids and the Sea", was born. In the BVI, both the basic sea skills and
the swim programs began in the early 1990s and have since graduated
more than a thousand youngsters.