A local football association was recently formed with the goal of educating Cayman’s young football talent.
The Cayman Islands Scholastic Football Academy (CISFA) is a new organization with a deep commitment to the sport of football and the progress of young persons in Cayman. It was formally established in the fall of 2005. It was founded by Mr. Mark Scotland, Mr. Bernie Bush and Mr. Darrel Rankine.
‘We want to create an avenue for kids. The academy will be preparing college kids for the next step. At the same time, we will get young people off to university and see them get an education. The academy can serve as a vehicle to get Caymanians to better places,’ says Mr. Bush.
The founding members discussed how the idea to create the CISFA formed.
‘When my daughter Shakeina was going off to college, Mark was already running his own football camp. At the same time, Darrel had ideas [about larger camps on the island]. Eventually we got together and everything just clicked,’ says Mr. Bush, ‘this academy was something that has been on our minds for awhile.’
Mr. Scotland confirmed Mr. Bush’s sentiments.
‘We have always wanted a large national camp for players to attend.
‘In the past, we each ran our own camps. Then we got the idea that young people should get an education from playing football. At the same time, we felt players should get the exposure they need,’ Mr. Scotland added.
All three members have had a long involvement with Cayman football and have always been interested in bettering Cayman’s youth.
‘The CISFA is a non-profit organisation. We are not in this for money or glory. We are very passionate about football and the development of youth in our islands. We want to better our young people,’ states Mr. Bush.
The founding members also commented on the idea of an organization like the CISFA needing to be in existence in Cayman.
‘We are bringing the academic side to football in Cayman. We want to foster the proper attitude and discipline necessary to succeed at the highest level,’ Mr. Scotland stated.
‘We are also aiming to get parents to have a very hands-on approach with their children’s development. Parents’ support is essential for players,’ Mr. Bush added.
All three men went on to discuss the number of kids involved with the academy. Due to the fact that the CISFA is in its first year, there has not been a lot of youth involvement. However, they commented that they are in the process of recruiting players.
The founding members maintained a bright outlook on the future of Cayman football.
‘I feel it is perfect timing for the creation of our academy with the rise of girls’ football in Cayman. I believe that girls’ football will take off in Cayman. We have a lot of girl talent under the age of 15,’ says Mr. Rankine.
‘I think our efforts will add to those of the Cayman Islands Football Association and those of government. It will certainly boost youth development in these islands,’ Mr. Bush said, ‘I think our academy can produce good, productive people for Cayman.’
‘We have the talent. It’s just a matter of developing it,’ Mr. Scotland said.