Maples backs future Olympians

For many of Cayman’s adolescents
the CARIFTA Games are of utmost importance.

Only a few get to represent their
country next month. For those that don’t they can find solace in the fact that
next year could be their time to shine in the Maples Interscholastic Meet.

The event may have taken place some
time ago but recently three students reaped their rewards in the form of
trophies and HP laptop computers.

Jouri Haylock, Shenell Stewart and
Franchesca Coleman all received those prizes courtesy of Maples.

Haylock, 12, represented Pace High
and amassed 30 points in the 12 and under age group. The West Bayer nabbed
first place in the 100m (running 12.7 seconds), 200m (26.8s) and high jump (1.40m).

Stewart, 13, represented St. Ignatius and nabbed 20 points in the 13-14 age group.
The West Bayer won the 100m (13.1s) and 200m (27.9s).

Coleman, 16, represented John Gray
High and nabbed 20 points in the 15-16 age group. The George Town native won the shot put (with a
throw of 8.11m) and the discus (18.74m).

For the record Coleman was tied on
points with CARIFTA team member Chantelle Morrison and youngsters Shanique Yen
and Troy Long. She got the award based on her margin of victory.

The least shy of the group, Coleman
said her achievement is part of a commitment to sports.

“It was amazing competing out there
because I got to know, measure and learn about the other competitors in my age

“I also do basketball, netball and
football. I guess I’m energetic like my dad (Franklin Coleman, former George
Town Football Club goal keeper).

“Right now track is something I do
well so I’m sticking with it. I feel I can be the next track star going forward
as I have the confidence and I’m motivated to do well.”

It is not clear at press time who
qualified for Cayman’s CARIFTA team from the meet. However Cayman’s youth have
one final shot on Saturday to make the team.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Athletic
Association hosts its final CARIFTA qualifier from 9:30am at the Truman Bodden
Sports Complex.

Presenting the prizes to the
youngsters was Maples partner Andrew Reid and Acting Director of Sports Collin

Reid said the company was pleased
to support Cayman’s youth.

“I thought it’s very good seeing these
young people excel and it’s great being involved,” Reid said. “Maples’ focus
now is on the public schools and it was an honour for the company to come
onboard as a sponsor. We hope next year we see more school participation and
more athletes come out and do well.”

Almost all of the parents of the
young athletics prodigies were on hand for the award presentation which took
place at the Maples office on the waterfront in George Town.

Two of them were Shenell Stewart’s
parents Mary and Norman Stewart. Mom Mary was impressed with her daughter’s

“To be honest I’m surprised and
excited. She did so well in spite of a hip injury and I’m so happy for her. She
wasn’t able to finish all of her events but I feel good that she’s improving
and competing with other kids as good as her.”

Jouri Haylock’s parents Locksley
Haylock and Karidad Barcelo were also on hand. Dad Locksley said his son is
managing sports and school well.

“He runs well and at the moment
he’s really into it. Who is to say he’ll run in the future. As parents all we
can do is love him and support him in his sporting endeavours. All I know is he
eats and eats, he never stops eating and he burns calories like crazy.

“But seriously he’s doing well and
its preparation for greater things. The fact that he’s also doing well in
school says he has a good balance. With that he can be a good influence on his
brothers Yannick and Keiron. Jouri is on a stage that will be hard to catch but
I tell his brothers they can surpass him if they do the right things.”