Cayman’s rugby programme for children is become a Saturday morning imperative for many youngsters. They get their chance again from tomorrow when it returns for the next seven months.
The programme at the club house in South Sound is in its fourth year, averaging between 150 and 220 kids, which is quite impressive considering how many other sporting programmes out there.
David Mays, Cayman’s community development coach, has only been here since June but is sure that the rugby kids will turn out in force.
‘Hopefully, we’ll get the same amount as last year, if not more,’ he said. ‘We’re aiming, obviously, to make it bigger. I believe right now we’ve got 14 coaches committed to the programme. It’s only $50 for the whole season which works out at $1 a week. It’s for boys and girls aged four to 16.
‘Everybody raves about it. They all know about it on the island. We know we’re competing with other sports, especially soccer and netball, but over the last few years it’s become a very successful programme. What it’s going to become part of is when we start working in the communities later in the fall in the other districts in the evenings, out in places like West Bay, Savannah and East End, it’s going to become another part of the community development.
‘The focus is to try to work with all the kids across the island if we can, and also that they have a home base that they can come to every Saturday morning and play. It’s a lot easier for the kids to come here on a Saturday morning than in the week.’
Mays has just started the national sevens programme. Sixteen players turned up at the first one and two more have joined the squad. It runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 5.30 to 7pm.
Mays has a talented bunch of youngsters already. One teenager who he feels particularly deserves a mention is James Geary, a 16-year-old John Gray pupil. He is already nearly 6ft and weighs a solid 200lbs. ‘James is a big, strong, athletic kid,’ said Mays. ‘We’re going to try and get him a scholarship because he’s got a lot of talent and is very academic as well. He absolutely loves rugby. Been coming down here a few years now. Even though he lives in North Side he comes regularly and hitches a ride home every time from practice. He’s come through all the junior development at this club and deserves to go far in the sport.’
Rugby for Kids is at the Rugby Club, South Sound, every Saturday 8-11am. It runs from tomorrow till April. Cost for the year $50 per child. For more information, ring: 924 9951.