U16 girls net praises

Former Member of the
Legislative Assembly for the district of George Town Lucille Seymour serves as
the president of the Cayman Islands Netball Association. She was the most
prominent community member and the host of a recent dinner to honour the
Under-16 girls after their recent tour of Barbados.

The Cayman Islands team
travelled to Barbados last month to participate in the Jean Pierre Caribbean
U-16 netball tournament. The team were in a development section of the
tournament, for countries that are not on par with the stronger teams such as
Jamaica and Barbados. The tournament served as a means to improve skills
amongst teams of their calibre.

Speaking about the trip the
netball association vice-president Lyneth Monteith (who was a coach on the
trip) noted that the experience not only taught the players more about teamwork
but also discipline.

“The girls had to utilise
leadership skills and organisational skills,” Monteith said. “There were
leaders in every room who had to get up and ensure that their room was on time
for the activity. They had to ensure that their room-mates had the right
uniform and there was distribution of duties. This included taking the ball bag
and medicine bag to the courts.

“Rome was not built in a day
and that is why we train our young people. I am sure that they will get better
in the areas that we fell down in at the tournament. I am sure that we will not
fall again in those areas again.”

Although the team did not
get to the top of the group, players had personal bests and the team’s
performance improved game by game. The team held a debriefing after each game
where the girls gave the officials their views on their performance. Speaking
from a coach’s viewpoint, Monteith said the girls can get better with improved
fitness levels.

“There are a few areas we
need to work on and we have started to work hard on areas such as fitness,”
Monteith said. “We found that was a big area for them where the teams they
played did not have better ball-handling skills than they had but were fitter.
It is not just about netball, it is also about making them responsible adults
and knowing them. Working with young people you have to know them (like knowing
why they are not coming for practice or who is picking them up) so we are parents
for your children when you are not there.”

Khadijah Bodden said the
trip was a pleasant experience despite the ups and downs of losing. Bodden said
that because of the trip she had learnt how to live with people from different
backgrounds she does not know.

Seymour paid tribute to
Shanai Allen whom she described as strong and determined despite being the
youngest of the team.

“She showed so much
determination when she was there and wanted to play when her foot was not even
good, she would tell the coaches that she was okay but we as experienced people
would know better, she is as strong as Sampson and tall as Goliath.”

Chief netball statistician
Cerone Glasgow said that she was happy that the trip had succeeded without an
incident and encouraged parents to support the youth and local netball.

“One is always on pins and
needles. You cannot come back and tell a parent: ‘Listen I have bad news for
you concerning your child.’ You never rest until you hand in everybody safely
to their parent. Then again you realise how much they love netball and we would
like them to continue so that one day they will form an adult team for the
Cayman Islands.”