From the outside it often seems government agencies are reactive in regards to the local sports scene.
Normally something has to happen or create a great amount of buzz in the media for action to be taken.
However the arrival of a new government website shows there is welcome change in the air.
This month saw the introduction of the Department of Sports website. The site is a comprehensive portal that has loads of information on Cayman’s main sports from lists of summer camps to the history of sports on these shores.
Forms are available that allow users to do anything from sign up for a summer camp or register to use a sporting facility to filing a complaint against the department or requesting a government grant.
Among the notable aspects of the site is information on the major sporting associations on the island, a compilation of facilities on Grand Cayman and a brief overview of women involved in sports here.
There are links to websites for various sporting bodies, map directions for the various facilities in the districts and a section devoted to how women got involved in sports in Cayman and what programs are currently ongoing for women to take part in.
A highlight in this area is the site spells out in plain English the six major sports (termed ‘focus sports’) in Cayman. Those sports are (in alphabetical order) athletics, basketball, cricket, football, netball and swimming.
Literature on the site says government supports those focus sports through community and after-school sessions, national initiatives, sports camps and the upkeep of over 20 facilities for public use.
The site is the brainchild of the Department of Sports, in particular its Director Dalton Watler and its Deputy Director Collin Anglin.
As Watler states, the site has been in the making for some time.
‘Collin and I want people to know about sports in these islands. We worked on the site in an effort to try to get the public up to speed with what’s happening in sports in Cayman.
‘We wanted to get the site done earlier but the red-tape from the last government held us back.’
Anglin shed some light on how the website went from an idea to reality.
‘Basically I met with Ministry officials to discuss the purpose of the site and we decided it would be information-based as opposed to an interactive one. From there everything came together.’
Watler, who recently achieved a high qualification in the area of Sports management, says the site just came online this summer.
‘When the new government came in we went ahead and put together the site. It’s a recent something and we took our time to put a lot of information on there because we wanted people to be aware.
‘It wasn’t a question of whether or not we would do it. It was all a matter of time.’
Anglin says the site was put together starting in April and its presence was made known to government officials a month ago.
‘It took about two or three months. Most of the work was in gathering the information. It was officially announced last month and it took time to be made to the attention of the public.’
The Department’s commitment to transparency and straight information comes clear in the posting of its government budget allotment.
From purchase agreements to the annual report everything is seemingly laid out for all to see and scrutinize.
Located under a ‘FOI’ tab finding and reading the information is easy.
Watler admits he did not have much to do with the basic layout of the site as that is an area of expertise for Collin Anglin.
‘All of us in the department wanted to supply information. However Collin was the man who set it all up. Many people don’t know that in addition to Collin’s first degree in sports management he also has a second qualification in computer science.’
Anglin in fact is no strange to designing local sports website. He set-up the Cayman Islands Basketball Association website (www.caymanbasketball.org) years ago which serves as hub for everything to do with local basketball.
Thus far Anglin says the site has received solid feedback and he feels it can be very useful tool.
‘The people I’ve heard from say there’s good information there and they’re happy with what is provided. That’s welcome news to me because I tried to put answers to commonly asked questions on the site.
‘I feel good about it. I’m genuinely pleased with it because it did the job we set out for it to do.’
For more information log on to the Department of Sports website at www.departmentofsports.com