Cayman Little League down but not out

Like many people on Grand Cayman, the Cay-man Islands Little League (CILL) suffered extensive damage from the passing of Hurricane Ivan. The CILL has over $100,000 in damages and is in the process of re-establishing its facilities.

The extent of the total cost of damages from Ivan is not fully known by the league. However Mr. Robbie Cribb, President of the CILL, was able to comment as to the level of damages incurred during the hurricane.

‘We were affected tremendously by Ivan just like everyone else. It devastated us, it really beat us.

‘We suffered a lot of destruction. We had about 4 feet of water in our buildings. Our kitchen equipment, uniforms and balls were all destroyed. Our fence was also destroyed by heavy objects.

‘We had two 40-foot containers full of equipment. They were dragged right through our fields, taking down the fences and two new, recently set-up batting cages. I would say they went about 100 to 150 feet through our facilities.’

Mr. Cribb went on further to discuss the financial situation of the league. He highlighted the fact that the league has been able to receive donations and is on track to recovery.

‘We have had over $100,000 in damages. In fact, there were about $90,000 to $100,000 worth of damages to the lights on our fields alone. We were not insured and have a tough time covering damages.

‘We have to take things step-by-step due to our lack of funds. Recently, the Rotary Clubs of Grand Cayman [all three clubs] were able to give US$30,000 to our league. It has been a tough year but recovery takes time.’

The League still has players and coaches actively involved. Mr. Cribb was able to state the numbers in regards to the cur-rent level of participation.

‘Right now our numbers are down. We have 550 maybe 600 people involved, in terms of players and coaches. In the year before Ivan, that number was about 670. The most people we have ever had involved was about 850 to 900.’

The CILL intends to carry on with its activities as usual. Games are still being played and fund-raising has been ongoing. The league will not be participating in any major events for the remainder of this year besides a significant baseball tournament being held this weekend.

Mr. Cribb discussed the future of the league and shed some light on the upcoming tournament.

‘We only intend to have one major event this season. That will be coming up this weekend. We will send 3 teams to a baseball tournament in Coco Beach, Florida. The teams will consist of players aged 10 and under, 12 and under and 16 and under. The tournament is expected to feature lots of teams in the US such as teams from Kentucky and Texas.

‘We will have more events taking place next year. Our funds are limited and we are in the process of fundraising. The parents of the players going to the tournament are actually paying for everything [on that trip].’

According to Mr. Cribb, the league very much needs the aid of the public. There are many areas that the public can get involved with.

‘[The public can help] anyway they can really. It depends on them. They can coach, umpire, or join our board to help with our fund-raising. There are lots of ways really. It is great to see new people to the island coming to help. We really need the help.

‘Our numbers maybe down this year, but we won’t give up. Next year our numbers will be better for us. We will be able to recover.’

To get involved, call Cribb at either 916-5643 or 916-0603.