RCIP veteran pushes skateboarding as a means to keep Caymanian youth rolling in the right direction
Skateboarding offers a wonderful payoff for the devoted. Rolling up a vertical surface can be a near mystical experience. Done right, it’s a pleasurable escape from the world below, from gravity and boredom. But policeman Steven Myers believes skateboarding offers even more than the momentary highs of surfing concrete, riding ramps and mastering tricks. He says it can help build a safer and better Cayman Islands.
‘Skateboarding is a great way to reach kids,’ said Myers, a 17-year veteran with the Royal Cayman Islands Police. ‘It’s an excellent way to steer their energy away from negative things, to keep them out of trouble.’
Myers currently is working to launch the Cayman Islands Skateboarding Association, an organization that will oversee the sport nationally and work toward helping young Caymanians become outstanding skaters as well as outstanding human beings.
‘I want to encourage kids to get involved. I want them to have the chance to socialize with their peers and with positive adults,’ he said.
Myers says kids would have to perform well in school and stay out of trouble to remain in good standing with the association. He feels it would be a great motivator for many kids to stay in school and work hard. For many young Caymanians, skateboarding is so appealing that it just might work. Myers emphasizes that the association will not be solely concerned with troubled kids. All will be welcome, regardless if they are on the fringes of society or bound for law school. He also says Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will be involved.
Myers is quick to dismiss the negative rebel image some may associate with skateboarding. ‘A lot of people get the wrong idea about skateboarders,’ he said. ‘They stereotype them because of their tattoos or whatever, but I have found that the pros who visit Cayman are extremely nice and respectful.’
So how will getting a bunch of kids rolling on urethane wheels benefit society?
‘Down the line there will be significant benefits for Cayman,’ Meyers said. ‘These kids need attention and something positive to do. Everybody is so busy these days. Nobody has any time anymore. But we have to make time for our kids. We have to get back to making time for each other. Skateboarding is a great way to do it.’
Myers is so committed to this idea that he has already sacrificed his own backyard to skateboarding. With the help of friend Philip Berry, Myers has constructed a half-pipe ramp in his backyard. He did it to give neighborhood kids, as well as his own children, a safe and positive place to gather. So far it seems to be a hit. The ramp is a magnet for area skaters and even drew the attention of a pack of US pros recently. Myers hopes to eventually build a public skateboard ramp in every district.
‘This is a great way to reach kids, to keep them from just hanging around in the streets looking for trouble. I really hope the association can do some good,’ Myers said.
‘There has been a lot of interest in it from the kids so far. Maybe one day we can take some of them to the US so that they can see the best competitions and get an idea of what it takes to compete at that level. There are definitely kids in Cayman who can be pros one day.’