Summer often provides an abundance of free time for Cayman’s youth.
With Cayman seeing an increasing amount of crime there is a renewed emphasis on keeping the youth and their idle hands busy.
This year there is a new initiative on the way for children up east to keep them out of trouble.
The Department of Sports announced last week proposed plans for an East End sports group.
The new programme is set to work with members of the East End community to provide more positive activities for the youth.
Deputy Director for the Department of Sports Collin Anglin is the main organizer behind the endeavour. He states the plan is to put a positive influence on the youth.
‘We want to create a program where it’s fun and engaging. It’s all about getting kids and adults active with a teaching aspect.
‘We wanted to launch the group for awhile and get kids involved in something positive. I’ve always felt that the community has to take care of itself.’
As the name states the group will emphasis participation in sports. Football, basketball and netball are the main sports being highlighted. At this point it’s not clear what the choice of venue would be though the East End primary school is a strong possibility.
In addition there are slated to be talks from various community members from pastors to police officers.
Anglin gave some details about the way the camp will be run.
‘The plan is during a game we have a fine minute speech from either a pastor, youth group or some other community organization.
‘That would be an effort to shape the character of the young people and create a balance between a commitment to the community and to winning at sports.’
Anglin and the department are already working closely with notable community members such as Youth Services Co-ordinator James ‘Jamo’ Myles and Vernie Watler-Harris, mother of local footballer Arvid Harris.
Harris, 17, is known for his play with local club Bodden Town Football Club. He played a big role in the team’s success beating Cayman Athletic Sports Club for the U17 FA Cup in May.
Alongside his mom, Harris is a life-long East End resident. In his eyes the camp should be a welcome one for his peers.
‘I feel it’s a good thing. I know plenty young guys are walking around doing nothing and getting into trouble. I really think it would be good for them and the whole of East End.’
With the initiative in the final phases of planning there has already been ample support from the community. Some 17 volunteers have stepped forward to help out.
Among the areas they will help out in are coaching and officiating.
As Anglin states the group is set to get going in the next few weeks and could be the start of similar efforts around Cayman.
‘We want to get it started by the beginning of August. Right now it’s simply a matter of co-ordinating volunteers and sorting out the fund-raising side of it.
‘We’re also working on doing a similar group in West Bay with five-a-side football teams to represent the various areas of West Bay. Ideally we’d like to go to all the districts and get more youth involved.’
At this point Anglin is cautiously optimistic about the group’s success.
‘I feel it’s going to work bit by bit. Studies show community sports bring people closer together and reduce crime. At the same time it socializes kids and turns them into good citizens.
‘To me community sports can get the ball rolling for bettering our island.’
To find out how to help out call Vernie Watler-Harris at 938-8024 or e-mail her at [email protected].