Cayman Islands technical director for rugby Richard Adams collected a grant cheque from the CI Government Sports Ministry for CI$20,000 this week to assist with the further development of the youth rugby program that is now in it’s fifth development year.
The money will go directly to continuing and improving the school delivery program whereby coaches go into schools to work with the children and teachers for periods of four to ten weeks, said Adams.
So far school programs have been delivered to Red Bay Primary, George Town Primary, George Hicks, John Gray, Triple C, Cayman Prep, St Ignatius and First Baptist. These programs will now be brought together in an inter school competition that will run over a number of weeks and I will have very exciting news regarding our new three year sponsor for this development program soon.
‘Just about all the money we get now goes directly into the junior programs, last year alone we spent over CI$120,000 on developing our youth programs and this number will only climb as we improve,’ said Adams. ‘If you divide that money between the two thousand five hundred children who enjoyed participation in the game last year then it is about $50 per child per year. I would like to see this in the $100-$200 range ideally as well as the number of participants double. As a case in point 30 lads will travel to Canada on Sunday for seven days to play three matches and continue their development. The CRFU feels that they are a very special group as along with the current Academy U19 players, they will make up the core of the players competing in both the 2008 World Cup Qualifiers and hopefully the 2012 Olympics. It is planned to continue their development with an annual trip for the next three years to Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
The boys themselves have had to find CI$500 each and the rest comes from sponsors and donors. To further improve this group and all of the other age groups we need to continue with our Academy programs. This year we want to start a dedicated Rugby Sevens Academy with guest coaches from world power Fiji to help set up and run the program as the Olympics will be ion the sevens format of the game. We have to be thinking this far ahead and of course it is the 5 year olds of today that will be the stars of the future. If we spend on these players development now then the program will reap the rewards later.
‘We also have a big commitment in place to develop a powerfull women’s game here in Cayman and again we would expect this to be a highly rated and competitive team in world terms.
‘I am in talks with many organisations and companies in the effort to raise the games profile in the community and to simply raise more money and am pleased with the response so far, it seems that the longer the game is in Cayman schools the more popular it is becomming with the community as a whole.,’ Adams continued. ‘We are doing very well in development and competition terms now ranked firmly in second spot in the whole of the Carribbean behind only Trinidad who we have not had a chance to play in some four years, that is a massive achievement considering our small number of players in comparison to other Caribbean countries. We will soon unleash our junior programs into Caribbean championships over the next eighteen months and they will do very well indeed I can assure you.
‘Of course we can only continue the existing programs and build new programs because we receive money such as the Government Grant, with out this long term vision and support from the Government the Rugby program would always remain at grass roots level in stead of developing into the world renowned and envied program it is fast becomming.’