Kids urged to support CARIFTA

The
CARIFTA Games are fast approaching and many are doing their best to support the
competition.

The
Minister of Sports Mark Scotland and a group of local 2010 CARIFTA athletes recently
did their part to get some of Cayman’s youngest talents involved.

Scotland and the athletes were received with
cheers last Wednesday at Bodden
Town Primary
school when he announced that tickets to the
upcoming Games would be made available to primary school students.

The Sports Minister also visited John A Cumber Primary
in West Bay on Thursday and George Town Primary on
Friday to speak with the students on the importance of getting involved in
sports.

The Cayman Islands
will welcome more than 500 athletes from 25 different nations this Saturday
through to next Monday for the prestigious junior athletics competition.

The CARIFTA Games will also serve as a qualifying
meet and springboard for Caribbean athletes competing for a spot in the
first-ever World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August.

“The 2010 CARIFTA Games are being held right here in
Grand Cayman, and we have the opportunity to see our local athlete’s compete
with countries from around the region and they are going to win medals and make
us proud,” Scotland said.

Eager for the chance to support their local athletes,
primary school students were encouraged to bring their families to the CARIFTA
Games by Minister Scotland.

“Tell your parents that you want to see our Caymanian
athletes run, jump and perform against the best in the Caribbean,” Scotland said.

A number of Bodden Town
Primary school students
currently train at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, home of the 2010 CARIFTA
Games for track and field events, and can easily relate to the CARIFTA
athletes. As Principal Ms Cetonya Cacho states many already planned to attend.

 “I think that
it is a wonderful opportunity that Mr. Scotland is providing tickets for students
who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the CARIFTA Games,” Cacho
said.

“Primary school students are going to watch the
older athletes compete during the CARIFTA Games and will have something to look
forward to.  We want them to know that it
is also achievable for them.”

Aside from Cacho the other school representative
on-hand for the visit was Coralie Williams. MLA Dwayne “John John” Seymour was also present.

Among the CARIFTA athletes who appeared at the
Bodden Town Primary last Wednesday was Anissa Owen, a former student of the
school.

Anissa is representing Cayman in the Girls U20 Long
Jump and Shot Put. Annisa broke her own national record two Saturdays ago to
qualify for the upcoming CARIFTA Games with a new personal best of 11.43m.

Other CARIFTA athletes in attendance were Kristen
Dixon, who won the Girls 100m Hurdles in 16.9 seconds to qualify and Travis
Webb, competing in the U20 Boys High Jump and Long Jump.

Travis was the sole medallist for Cayman at the 2008
CARIFTA Games, where he won a bronze medal in the high jump for boys U17. He
has achieved a personal best of 2.03m in the High Jump and 6.83m in the Long
Jump.

Andrew Perrin was also present and he is competing
in the Boys U20 4X100m relay. He has been competing since the primary level and
represented Cayman in the 100m at the World Youth Championships in Sudtirol, Italy
last year. Andrew is competing in his first CARIFTA Games and has achieved a personal
best of 11.19s in the 100m sprints.

Competing in her third CARIFTA Games, Gizelle Wright
is representing Cayman in the girls U20 100m sprints. She also qualified to
represent Cayman in the 2009 World Youth Championships and represented Cayman
at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in India. Gizelle has achieved a personal
best of 12.1s in the 100m sprints.

Assistant Head Coach of the Cayman team Tyrone Yen
encouraged the youth athletes to watch all of Cayman’s athletes perform.

“We want to encourage all students at the primary
level to come out and see the CARIFTA Games and have a dream to one day
represent the Cayman Islands,” Yen said.

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