Cayman Athletic Athletic Sports Club had a successful trip to Wales in July.
Irvin Ebanks, who was the president of the club at the time, was the main organiser. He is really grateful because he feels it could not have happened without the scores of sponsors who helped make the trip possible.
Ebanks said: ‘The executive committee of Cayman Athletic, coaches, parents and children, extend a big thank you to Stuarts Walker Hersant, the law firm, who were the main sponsors.
‘We’re also grateful to the Cayman Islands Government and to all of the sponsors who helped us to attend the Welsh Super Cup football competition held in Aberystwyth.’
The event was a huge success despite some cold weather coming in off the Irish Sea and nearby Welsh mountains which took a little adjusting to by the Cayman boys.
That could be seen by the brave attempts to look normal at the opening ceremony even though they were freezing.
The weather did improve however as the week’s football proceeded and despite a number of disadvantages found in some of the age groupings of the competition together with limited practicing on a team level prior to the event, Cayman entered the football fray with determination.
Altogether 122 teams of various age groups took part in the tournament, with teams coming from as far as Australia meeting each other on 20 superb grass playing fields, refereed by as many as 90 officials.
Irvin said: ‘Our 14 and under group of which a number had not long turned 13, were caught by this particular tournaments age grouping requirements and found themselves up against very disciplined and physically aggressive teams who were able to count on more of their players averaging a year older and having the physique to prove it.
‘Nevertheless, our team competed strongly and most of the games were very close end to end games. Our boys learnt a lot about how the professional game is played.
‘Our Under 13s, playing for the first time in an eight per side tournament – with its peculiar set of rules – weren’t actually a team at all prior to the event, but players within our overall group who were caught by the same age group limitations as the older players and asked to make up a team.
‘Surprisingly, this makeshift team did very well managing to come away with runners up medals in the Welsh Champions League Cup which placed them approx third in the overall groupings for that age group.
‘Our Under 10s were perhaps the most exciting discovery of the tournament who despite not fully understanding the differences in playing eight per side.
‘It gave no quarter in their quest to excel at the competition and despite making a number of early costly mistakes in each game through competition inexperience, managed to come through the gruelling competition to win the Welsh Super Shield, a magnificent achievement given the quality of the competition.
‘In addition, many friends and contacts were made at the tournament which will be invaluable to the club and our community over the years ahead.
‘It is evident to the management, coaches and parents of the club that attending these types of events far from home are invaluable in providing for the immediate and long term development of youth football in the Cayman Islands generally, and we sincerely thank our sponsors and everyone involved.
‘Through their generosity they made the trip possible, I’d like to thank QueensGate Bank & Trust,
Cayman National Bank, Maples & Calder, Atlantic Star Ltd, Admiral Holdings Ltd, Kathleen Kipp, CITCO Bank & Trust, CITCO Fund Services, BDO (Cayman Islands), Irish Bank & Trust, Cayman Electrical Services, Mr. & Mrs. McKeeva Bush, Deloitte, The Edge Ltd, Wanda Ebanks, Outreach Video Ministry, Progressive Distributors, Fidelity Bank & Trust, BCQS Property Management, George Town Primary School,McAlpine Ltd, the Cayman Islands Government, Stuarts Walker Hersant, Jeff Webb, Alba Special Systems, Hew’s Janitorial, Latin Taste restaurant, Maedic Group, James Watler, Riselda Ebanks, Linda McLean and friends at Planning, Esther Anderson, Patricia Walters, Patricia Bazell-Taylor, Pirates Week Festival, Radio Cayman Staff, Cheryl Bell, Lolette Miller, Ingrid Powell, Fabrizone Cleaning Systems, Virgil Seymour, HBS Staff-Airport, Real Wood Cabinets, Cayman Tours & Travel, Esteban Galleries, Tortuga Rum Cakes and our media sponsors, Radio Cayman 89.9FM, Rooster 101FM, CITN, Cayman Net News
and the Caymanian Compass.
‘I hope I haven’t forgotten to mention a sponsor.’
Ebanks has given way to Paulette without naming Paulette Connolly Bailey who recently became the latest president of Cayman Athletic.