Commonwealth Games 2018: David Ebanks hopes to make a splash for Cayman Islands
PUBLISHED: 11:30 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 07:57 06 April 2018
Romford Town Swimming Club's David Ebanks is competing at his second Commonwealth Games - for the Cayman Islands.
The 35-year-old has citizenship through his late grandfather and represented the British territory in Glasgow in 2014.
And having set a national record in the 100m breaststroke (1.08.36), while just missing out on a semi-final spot in the 50m event, he is delighted to have another chance on the big stage.
He said: “Glasgow was an incredible experience, mixing with elite athletes in a multi-sport event. Once the Gold Coast was announced I thought I’d try and hang on for it.”
Ebanks was ‘born and bred in Harold Wood’ and attended Harold Court Primary School and Emerson Park.
And he began taking his swimming more seriously after a bit of advice in the classroom.
He added: “I was pretty good as a kid and a teacher said I should go and find a club, get more sessions and get more dedicated.
“I swam for Killerwhales as a junior and was Essex and Southern Counties champion in 1998, but I gave up in 1999. I’d lost interest a bit. You can overdo it.”
Ebanks got the swimming bug again just over a decade later and it has paid off handsomely.
He said: “I started at Romford Town in 2010, just for fun and fitness. Masters is quite social.You choose your own sessions.
“I went to the Island Games on the Isle of Wight in 2011. It’s a pretty big event, but not that well known, and then qualified for Glasgow 2014.”
Ebanks was ranked 19th in the 50m breaststroke at the last Commonwealth Games – as Romford clubmate Elena Sheridan ranked 10th in the 200m butterfly for England – and holds the Cayman Islands record of 29.80, which he set at the 2013 British Masters in Plymouth.
And he would like to improve on that Down Under, if possible, where his parents will be among the crowd, while his wife and young son remain at home in Brentwood.
He added: “I’ve been doing six 90-minute pool sessions a week, as well as three gym sessions.
“It’s a mixture of endurance and aerobic work, high intensity threshold, dedicated max sprint work and technical stuff as well, dive starts, turns. It’s got to be enjoyable. Recovery sessions too are key.
“My PB last year would’ve got me in the Glasgow semis but things move on in four years. It depends who turns up and being in Australia, it will be quite popular.
“The Caymans are funding four swimmers, two male, two female. You qualify with times and are then ranked on a points system. I sent in my official times from official ranking meets for British Swimming and it’s myself and a guy who is at Edinburgh University. One of the women is at Florida Uni.”
Ebanks has taken annual leave from his job as a medicare rep for orthopaedic implants, covering North East London, and received some sponsorship from his employer Medartis.
And he is hoping to do the Cayman Islands – and Romford Town – proud in the pool, adding: “It’s a beautiful island, very westernised. I’ve been out there a few times, the first time as an 11-year-old and then I’ve been back for weddings.
“It’s only 20 miles long and the locals are not really locals, more ex-pats. But it’s good that all the smaller nations will be there on the Gold Coast.”