An increase from 28 teams to 41 teams has left the Cayman Islands Little League short of team sponsors.
‘It’s a good problem to have,’ said CILLA president Stuart Knox. ‘But it’s still a problem.’
The increase in the number of teams is a result of a restructuring of CILLA’s leagues and a new philosophy to put fewer children on each team, said Mr. Knox,
‘One of the biggest complaints we’ve had over the years is that there were too many kids on each team and they weren’t getting a chance to play enough as a result,’ he said. ‘We’ve corrected that, but now we’re short of sponsors.
Entering its 19th year here in Cayman, CILLA has always been free to the children participating. This year there will be about 500 children participating in the programme.
CILLA Programmes and Facility Director Mia Karapita said the trouble finding sponsors could be a reflection of the economic situation.
‘We currently rely 100 per cent on sponsorships and fundraising,’ she said. ‘If companies are tightening their belts so to speak on this type of spending, we are concerned.’
So far, CILLA has secured 31 of the needed 41 sponsors for the teams that will participate in the upcoming league. With opening day less that three weeks away and uniforms that have to be printed, time is ticking.
‘We really have to try to secure the sponsors by 13 February,’ said Ms Karapita.
Sponsorships of Little League teams cost $2,500 for the season, which runs until early June.
Mr. Knox said he really hoped enough sponsors could be found before the deadline.
‘We know that times are tough and a lot of companies are cutting back, but we’re hoping they’ll come through for the kids,’ he said. ‘Little League is not just a healthy activity for children to participate in, it teaches valuable life lessons like the importance of practice and teamwork.
‘We hope companies can see the value of Little League to the community.’
Individuals or companies interested in sponsoring a team should contact Mia Karapita at 945-3553 or at [email protected]