Today’s Editorial April 23: Sport Symposium scores

It remains to be seen if Sports Minister Alden McLaughlin will succeed in his effort to uplift sports in the Cayman Islands with a national review and a new comprehensive sports policy.

His ambitious goals are to not only find a way for Cayman to consistently produce athletes and teams that are more competitive internationally, but also to engage the entire population and convince them that can benefit from sports and fitness too.

However, it is clear that the minister got off to a great start with the Sports Symposium held Monday at the Marriott. The theme of the day-long event was Sports: More than a game, for everyone, for life.

While it undoubtedly was productive and progress was made toward getting the effort up to speed, the most significant aspect of the day was the impressive turnout and unity shown by leaders of virtually every sport in the Cayman Islands.

The Marriott’s banquet room was filled to capacity with attentive coaches and eager association presidents. The mere presence of so many key movers and shakers united and focused was inspirational.

Minister McLaughlin is right to be confident that Cayman sports are on the verge of a new birth. Considering the talent and energy that was present at Monday’s symposium, there is a real opportunity for something special to be accomplished over the next few years.

It may surprise some, but the public, especially non-athletes and non-sports fans, may benefit from this Sports Ministry initiative even more than Cayman’s elite athletes.

Minister McLaughlin stressed that he wants to promote physical fitness and an appreciation for recreational sports throughout the Cayman Islands, among all ages.

Sports and fitness, he says, are vital for the overall health of a population. Health Minister Anthony Eden was present at Monday’s symposium to back up this theme. Also present was Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts who made it clear that his government is taking this review and policy initiative seriously.

The Caymanian Compass encourages the public to participate fully in the sports and recreation survey that is being conducted.

The more the Sports Ministry, and the consultants they have hired, know about our country’s current sports status and the population’s desires, the better they will be able to chart a new course that may lead to more victories for our elite athletes as well as a fitter, healthier and happier population.

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