Haines helps the needy

Derek Haines may be 61 but he still has the ability to run a marathon, proved by his fine performance in the Cayman Marathon last month.

It wasn’t just to show that he can outlast youngsters either, Haines raised $7,015 for worthy causes, running the 26.2 mile race in a respectable 4 hours 43 minutes and 43 seconds.

Half the proceeds went to the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman for their projects, including Meals on Wheels and the other half for the rugby club in South Sound where he is club president.

‘I’m so pleased with the response, from people in rugby, the Rotary and my workplace at Dart in Camana Bay and everybody else who so generously subscribed to it,’ Haines said.

‘In this day and age to raise seven grand is pretty good news. I’m really pleased and obviously, it’s going to be put to very good use within the community.’

A former policeman, Detective Chief Superintendent, in fact, he is also the immediate past president of the Rotary club and has a lifetime interest in rugby as a player, coach and administrator.

‘Rugby is my love and passion in life – apart from my wife Helen, that is. This is my ninth year as the rugby president and the second time I’ve run a marathon to raise funds.

‘We’ve got such a big programme going with the rugby youngsters this year and going onwards, because we hope to get to the Olympics in 2020.

‘Unfortunately, you can’t do it on thin year and have to have cash.

‘We’ve got a touring team over from the US that we play tonight and on Saturday. We’ve also qualified in the sevens for the Central and Caribbean Games as a result of the performance by the fellas in Mexico.

‘If we can do well in that then we can go to the Pan American Games. As a consequence of rugby sevens going into the Olympics from 2016 it’s opened up all these areas.

‘We can now go to the Commonwealth Games as well as other big tournaments. This raises the bar for all our youngsters who are coming through.

‘I want to see a lot more youngsters coming down here to pull a shirt on and train. For 10-13 year olds we’ve got competitions for each year and we think we can go touring with them.

‘So anybody interested from that age group wanting to come down should do so. So if you want to go to the Olympics in 2020, that’s the age group that should be joining right now.

‘A town’s size population of around 60,000, for what we’re doing with these youngsters, I think is fantastic.

‘But what I think is most important is that we turn out good citizens. Twenty-four of the 26 youngsters who were in the Under-20 squad that retained the Caribbean championship last year have gone to university. All Caymanians. I think that’s a fantastic achievement.’