Cayman Brac has a thriving sports scene thanks to a dedicated band of coaches on the tiny island.
One of them is Flynn Bush, the track coach and a PE teacher at the high school. He brought over three little girls with his wife Susan to compete at the East End meet at the Civic Centre on Saturday and all of them distinguished themselves.
One of them was daughter Madison Bush-Couch. Dad is pleased with how the nine-year-old is coming on. ‘For Madison, this is her second year of competition,’ he said. ‘Last year she was able to go the regional meet, the Amateur Athletic Union, in the States. She got third there and qualified for the Junior Olympics in the triathlon which is the shot, high jump and 200 metres. She went to the Junior Olympics in Knoxville, Tennessee in July and set a personal best in coming nineteenth out of 28 in her division. She also broke her record for high jump at the Bay Area Track and Field Association in Tampa in May and won gold in high jump and turbo javelin and silver in long jump.’
Amanda Frederick is only eight and has already had to overcome a major injury. ‘Amanda is new to track and doing really well,’ Bush said. ‘She’s looking to be a really big star in long jump so it was a pity there wasn’t a pit to jump in today.’
She is remarkable in the fact that she broke her leg two years ago. She was climbing on a canopy over a car port, fell off and cracked her femur. Out of commission for a year, she bounced back last year. ‘This year she’s really coming on strong.’
Sasha Lee Roberts, 10, made up the group. Another good sprinter, she is one to look out for in the future.
Bush added: ‘These three young ladies really work hard and already show a lot of dedication. At this age it is kind of unusual. Sasha Lee is very quick and also looking to excel in high jump this year. She’s worked hard since last year.’
Bush helps out with football but mainly coaches track. He is a former field event specialist, in shot, discus and javelin. Although a big fella, he used to also compete in long distance. ‘I wasn’t the fastest, of course, as I wasn’t built for speed but I could go a long time slowly! And I still like to run.
‘I threw the shot today for the first time in years and used it as motivation for the kids to prove to them that you’re never too old to keep going.
‘We have a lot of talent at the school and try to keep them motivated and give them opportunities to compete abroad. There are 350 kids at the school and in our sports program we have 275 of them involved. In fact, we had a little plane full of them today that came down; two football teams, a netball team, cricket team and a track team.’
Track and field technical director Kenrick Williams was pleased to see the youngsters at East End. ‘They’re young but very competitive,’ he said. ‘It’s good to see them here. Madison is tremendous at shot, her dad coaches her very well. Hopefully, Brac will have a meet in the near future and invite us over.’