Jet Skis need an Association

Cayman is a hot-bed for jet skis and one prominent rider says there should be more policing of them.

Shane ‘Nobee’ Edwards, team manager of Team 2Frenzied and an avid rider himself, believes rules and regulation will bring order to the sport.

‘I think Cayman could use an association. I want to see the sport organized with proper rules. The sport needs control and an association would be the foundation of everything going on.’

According to Edwards, he spoke with the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS) as early as 2001. They said an organization could be formed if there are enough members within the Jet Ski community who support the move.

Mr. Dalton Watler, head of the DYS, confirms Edwards’ story.

‘I’ve had a number of people come forward to enquire about a jet ski association. Among them was Shane Edwards, who wanted to set-up something in East End.

‘For the association to work, everybody [who jet skis] needs to get together and agree to form one body. Else, there will be problems and animosity among those people.’

Watler went on to give a brief overview of the process for setting up an association.

Watler said the first thing to be done, after assessing the need for a group, is advertise the intent to form one.

Thereafter a public forum has to be held before an article of association can be drafted.

The article is then sent to Watler, who has the power to recommend the body be accepted, before it is sent further within government.

‘At that time, government [officials] timetable the article to be approved or unapproved,’ Watler said.

Watler says whoever takes the initiative in forming the body will be the one to guide the process. He would consider that person the chairperson and in charge of all the administrative duties.

According to Watler, organizations have also expressed an interest in a ruling jet ski group. Thus he talked at length about the three available options for creating an association.

The first is to go the route of a public ruling group. This would allow government to recognize the society as the country’s principal organization and consequently give financial support.

For example, the Cayman Islands Cricket Association is in charge of organizing and sanctioning all local cricket. According to its purchase agreements, government set aside CI$30,000 for the cricket association in the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

On the contrary, one can opt to set up a private company. However, the company would be restricted to only local competitions as it would not be recognized internationally.

Otherwise, a non-profit organization can be created. This method would allow DYS to recognize and sponsor events. Also other businesses would look to be sponsors to gain tax exemptions.

According to Michelle Alvarenga, an officer within the Public Relations Unit of the Portfolio of Finance and Economics, these exemptions are not a certainty.

A request for an exemption must be first sent in writing to the Financial Secretary’s Office. It is then passed on to Cabinet who decide whether to grant approval. From there, the Office will get in touch with those who submitted the request.

She went on to say that any exemption that is granted will not be applicable to a company’s Cayman branch. The exemption will only be valid on the company’s books in its mother country.

Ultimately, Edwards says he looks forward to others offering their input on the matter.

‘I’ve always been in favour of a guy like Kenny Rankin [organizer of Jet Around Cayman] being the chairman of an association. He started the sport here in Cayman and already has a lot of support within the community.

‘I would just like to encourage others to support the idea [of an association]. I have no problem being part of the board and helping in the set-up.’

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