An emotional CARIFTA story that CIASA loves to tell is that of the Cayman Islands' first CARIFTA Swimming Medallist, Landon von Kanel. Landon was 12 years old at CARIFTA in 1996 in Barbados and won Gold in both the 200M and 400M Freestyle events in the youngest age group.
In 2001 a tragic car accident claimed Landon’s life – and in 2002 the Landon Von Kanel Award was created for young swimmers who replicated his 1996 double gold achievement. Dave Kelshiemer, Landon’s coach, had a special bond with Landon and he initiated the idea of the award as recognition for distance swimmers in a sprint-focused Caribbean.
In the years that this award is won, it is presented by CIASA in Landon’s memory. Pastor Randy (as most in Cayman know Landon’s father) remains committed to providing Cayman’s youth with access to the growth, discipline and focus that come from taking part in organised sports.