Todays Editorial: Importance of being there

St. Ignatius Primary School and St. Ignatius High School recently held its annual Sports Day and, like all sports days for all Cayman schools, the highlights included plenty of fierce competition and good sportsmanship.

The children of Cayman’s schools never fail to deliver an exciting day of fun and competition.

A highlight of the St. Ignatius Sports Day that was no less impressive was the high turnout of parents. There were many cheers and hugs for the children, as it should be.

Cayman’s parents, however, do not always do so well.

More times than not on Grand Cayman, parents fail to show up for their children’s big day.

Too often youth sports events in the Cayman Islands take place in relative silence because no mothers or fathers are there to cheer. Something more important in their lives, something more important than their children, has taken priority.

It is obviously nice if a parent is present when a child stumbles and fades to finish last.

No one, not even the best coach or teacher can dry the tears of a heartbroken child like a parent can. But too often, the only one that is there to do it is a good-hearted coach or teacher. What might not be so obvious is that children need parents in their moments of triumph just as much as they do in the darkness of defeat.

Few things are as painful to a young athlete as to struggle and win only to have no parent to enjoy the moment with.

A child who crosses the finish line first is quick to glance around in the hopes of finding a mother’s or father’s eyes. Just as it is with adults, success means little without a loved one to share it with.

One can only wonder why so many parents do not attend their children’s sports events. Do they not know how stressful a big game can be for a 10 year-old?

Do they not care about the loneliness and pain their child feels if they drop the crucial catch?

Work is probably the most common reason for the parent no-shows that plague Grand Cayman sports. Most situations can be worked out, however, with nothing more than a little planning and a little begging. Some employers are human beings with children too.

They just might understand and agree to a brief excused absence in order to keep a child from competing in silence.

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