Josh tries to give back

An upcoming youth rugby camp will have arguably Cayman’s best youth player as a coach.

Josh Clarke, who recently returned from the Hong Kong Sevens after playing with the West Indies Rugby sevens team, is home in Cayman for the summer.

Instead of relaxing Clarke is going to be spending his summer months giving back to the game and local program that helped him reach such dizzying heights.

Josh will be coaching sevens skills to Cayman’s youth through the Maples sponsored community Rugby Outreach Program.

The initiative is offering three separate summer camps for children aged eight through sixteen years. The program will be available in West Bay, South Sound and Bodden Town.

Each camp runs for two weeks each weekday at a cost of just $25 per child for the duration and concludes with two days of matches at the South Sound Ground.

Caymanian Rugby Development Officer and national sevens player Keswick Wright will work alongside Clarke and several other coaches.

The camps will lead directly into the start of the 2009 school year and the Cayman Rugby Football Union aims to keep programs running in the three districts throughout the junior season.

Clarke, who has just been selected again by the West Indies sevens for a tournament in Canada, is delighted to give back to the community and the sponsors (who by way of their support have allowed his career to flourish).

‘I started playing at St. Ignatius in the Greenlight Re schools programme and loved the game. I then joined in with the Maples community programmes at the rugby club on Saturday mornings before being selected to the National Maples Sevens Academy and finally the Cable & Wireless National Sevens team in 2006.

‘To be able to come back to Cayman from my studies at University in Bristol in England and get hands-on involvement with the future players in Cayman, that will no doubt have even more opportunities than I have had, is a great thrill for me.

‘The CRFU has made sure that I have always had something to work at, they have been supportive all the way through and to be able to pass this message on across the island is what it is all about; giving what you can back and helping in the community.

‘I look forward to my career over the next few years and playing with Cayman. It is important to remember where you came from and who helped you and to give back whenever you can to such a great program and sponsors.’

Technical Director Richard Adams is pleased that Josh has agreed to work with players over the Maples summer camps.

‘Josh is a great player who has worked very hard to get where he is and I am confident that he has far to go yet. I am delighted that he is back here in Cayman for the summer working with our sevens players and spreading word of the program and his love of the game across Cayman.

‘This year will see many of our fine young Caymanian players depart these shores for universities overseas and they take on new rugby programs. I am confident that many of them will play at very good standards of rugby. Some will turn professional so I look forward to the next few years as the programs progress and the chance to welcome big name Cayman players home for similar experiences.’