Businessmen rally around volleyball

The district sports initiatives
have been catching on well into the New Year.

East End continues on with another sports league in the form of volleyball
while branching out to offer swimming to kids.

West Bay has jumped into action with a volleyball league of its own. Both
have enjoyed tremendous community support.

Last week saw the West Bay
district volleyball league receive an added benefit with donations from three
businessmen hailing from within the district.

Mervyn Jonathan Smith of MJS
Plumbing, Darnol Kelly of Hardware Express and Arden “Cheeky” Rivers of Fire
Extinguisher Pros all gave substantial financial aid to the program.

This reporter was at the Department
of Sports office in Queen’s Court plaza on West Bay Road to witness the donations.
Also on hand were Acting Director of Sports Collin Anglin and Department staff
member Vanda Powery.

Joining them were West Bay Sports
Committee members Gloria Glidden (wife of politician Cline Glidden Jr), Amy
Burke and Clara Smith.

The donations come as the West Bay
league just finished its second week of play last weekend. The next round of
games is this Saturday from 6pm.

All of the businessmen (who are all
relatively young men at 35 years of age) expressed a desire to help the league
out of a calling to serve their area.

Smith said he wanted to support the
growth of the youth and sports.

“In sports events like the
volleyball league, we can help the youth and create a positive environment to
help them.

“My feeling is if we, as a
community, can step up then we should do so.”

Kelly saw supporting the league as
a chance to foster community spirit.

“Sports bring people together. Once
the young people are active there will be less chance of them doing negative
things.

“At the same time doing positive
things keeps them out of trouble. I feel we as a country need to do more things
like this.

“We could do regular competitions
in basketball, netball or whatever the sport may be.”

As many might know Cheeky Rivers is
no stranger to these pages and local sports in general. A stalwart of Cayman
football for years, Rivers has been one of the island’s biggest sports figures.

In a way it makes sense he would
get involved though his motivation goes beyond developing sports.

“Much of my sports career has been
about giving. It was an easy decision to give assistance to the league.
Although for me this league is less about sports and more about community
participation.

“I see it as a chance for us in the
district to create togetherness.”

For Anglin having the businessmen
step forward paves the way for more leagues and community support in the future.

“Every contribution counts and goes
towards something needed in the community sports program. Having the support of
businessmen now is encouraging because we’ll have more events that will give
them more opportunities to help out.”

The West Bay
league has played its games indoors at the John A Cumber primary school hall
since last month.

With a youth and adult league in
progress just about all ages and abilities have turned up to give indoor volleyball
a try.

That level of participation is not
lost on Anglin who sees the league uniting West Bay.

“It’s very heart-warming. It makes
me happy that more people are getting a great sense of community. It’s a very
special thing and feels like a family coming together to look out for each
other.

“There’s an African proverb that
says it takes a village to raise a child. Right now we’re seeing the village come
together.”