With some 10 companies actively sponsoring leagues and teams, hockey is getting the support it needs.
‘So long as the corporate support is vibrant, so will hockey be in Cayman,’ says Ray Singh, athletic director at Kings.
Kings Sports Centre is the home of three different hockey programmes.
The WestTel Youth Roller Hockey league is one of the newer initiatives. It operates twice a year. The current divisions are: 15U, 10U, 6U and Girls.
The following companies are involved with the league: Apec, Appleby, Citco, Five Continents, KPMG, Maples & Calder, Walkers and WestTel.
In addition there is also the WestTel Adult Roller Hockey league. It also operates twice a year. The companies that sponsor it are Alba, Elite Marble & Granite and WestTel.
There is also a national ball hockey league. Running on a once-a-year basis, it is organised by the Cayman Islands Ball Hockey Association.
‘The companies seem very pleased with the leagues’ progress to date. Thanks to a devoted island-wide media, they are receiving a great deal of publicity. For the sponsors it’s a venture, which allows people to see their sponsorship foster and grow.
‘In addition there is a high sense of accomplishment for our little players.’
The role of the kids is one reason for all of the corporate involvement. Many sponsors have children in the youth league.
Moreover, the development of hockey allows kids to stay active and learn about sportsmanship.
‘The kids love the game,’ he said. ‘Our programme offers no political issues, and keeps the play at the heart of youth sport. The programme has proven to be a huge success for families from all ages and backgrounds.
‘I firmly believe that hockey is one of the best sports that a child can play. We teach discipline in an atmosphere that is fast, exciting, and beams of great sportsmanship.’
‘We strive to provide our sponsors with as much publicity as possible through all print media and word of mouth.
‘Word [of local hockey] is quickly spreading throughout those companies and into the schools.
‘But I think that most of all Kings gives these companies an opportunity to help a cause that has very powerful and positive effects. The growth of more new players in the sport has done wonders for the community. ‘
WestTel says it’s keen to play a role in the development of Cayman’s youth.
‘We are always looking for ways in which we can add value to the communities we serve,’ says WestTel Vice President of Sales Calvin Morton. ‘What better way [to do so] than assist a programme, which promotes the benefits of exercise and healthy competition, particularly amongst our children?’
Plans are already in the works to further grow hockey. The 15U, 6U and Girls divisions in the youth roller hockey programme are expected to field more teams soon. Also more divisions are slated to come onboard in that league including 12U and 9U.
‘I am constantly grateful for the support of our sponsors. Their financial support is the reason our programmes have succeeded, and continue to do so.
‘Hockey is a capital intensive sport. As the programme grows and matures, other companies will be needed to help support the growth.’
In the end, the road to involvement in local hockey is not a complicated one.
‘Any organisation that would like to support our programmes has to simply contact me via email or phone.
‘We can explain the levels of commitment desired, and this does not necessarily have to be in the form of a financial donation. Our programmes have a large contingent of volunteer support. This is also very critical to insuring a successful programme.’
To inquire about sponsoring local hockey e-mail Ray Singh at [email protected] or call 946-5464.