Young sluggers need public support

The local little league is all
about nurturing young baseball and softball talent.

To that end many games are held on-island
and youngsters have chances to attend competitions abroad.

A group of kids under 12 years-old
hope to make it to the Caribbean region qualifiers
of the Little League World Series but they need help raising funds.

This July a team from the Cayman
Islands Little League will be heading to Humacao, Puerto
Rico to compete in the Caribbean World Series regional tournament.
The U12 team, under head coach Dayne Brady, is also practicing non-stop to
prepare for the Carolina Baseball Challenge in May as a precursor to the Puerto Rico event.

However the cost of travel for
those tournaments is significant and the team will be relying on fundraising
efforts during the next few months to fuel their dream.

Those efforts start this Saturday
with the team holding a car wash at Countryside
Shopping Center in Savannah from 10am to 2pm. The public can
look out for the youngsters with their “Field The Dream” banner.

Next Saturday coach Brady will be
cooking and selling jerk chicken with the team at the Seven Mile Public Beach
starting at 12noon.  

For the record the team of
youngsters is a competitive and experienced group. Most have played together in
past tournaments in Orlando, Miami
and Chicago and have every intention of putting Cayman on the map.

The team consists of the top players
from last October’s local little league classic tournament. Coach Brady, who is
also little league’s director of tournaments and travel, has over 20 years
experience in baseball, mainly with coaching and umpiring. 

As he states Cayman’s little league
needs international competitions to enhance the knowledge and skill of local
players. 

“Little League teaches more than
baseball,” Brady said. “It teaches life lessons. Travel is a wonderful opportunity
for the players but competing off-island gives us, the league, a chance to
gauge our local talent, coaching staff and programs.

“This travel team will have an
opportunity to meet other teams from around the world but, most importantly, they
are setting goals and aspirations for the young players who are coming up
through our local divisions.”

The significance of the trip is not
lost on the players either. First baseman Sean McField wants to play professional
baseball and relief pitcher James Green talks about one day having a scholarship
to a top university.

Catcher Cameron McWatt likes the
idea of travelling and playing baseball. He says it is great “getting an opportunity
to travel to different countries, meeting kids from all over the world, making
friends – all while playing my favourite sport of baseball.”

Pablo Bertran, one of the league’s
promising lead pitchers, wants “a chance to play some great baseball, win some
games and develop as a player while seeing new places.”

The youngsters practice every
Saturday and Sunday at the Field of Dreams in George Town in addition to playing with their
regular league teams during the week. It shows a huge commitment from them,
their parents and their coaches.

To support the team, please contact
Margot Weber at [email protected]

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