Minister of Sports Mark Scotland
saw off the Cayman Islands’ 25-member Purple Dragon School of Karate team and
their supporters at Owen Roberts Airport, wishing them the best at the week
long Purple Dragon World Karate Championships in Trinidad.
The team is sponsored by Mongoose
Global Intelligence, Cayman National, Dart Cayman Islands, Appleby, Tower
Marketing and Conyers Dill and Pearman.
Led by Senseis Floyd Baptiste,
Karen Baptiste and Geddes Hislop, the team are competing again teams from
around the world in Port of Spain for a range of events for beginners, through
intermediate, advanced and black belt levels.
Forms, weapons and traditional
weapons, point fighting and continuous fighting and self-defence are some of
the divisions in which they are testing their skills in front of a panel of
The dedication of the Purple Dragon
team, Scotland said “is really amazing. I’m really proud of them. They’ve done
a lot of work and I think they’re going to do us very proud”.
The combatants range in age from 5
to 50 and have spent the past month in intensive training for the competition,
which falls on the 40th anniversary of the Purple Dragon School of Martial
Arts, the longest established martial arts school in the Caribbean.
The Trinidad-based Purple Dragon
boasts 45 schools in more than 11 countries, hosting tournaments worldwide for
its thousands of students, most recently the Canadian Grand Slam in 2007 and
the Cayman Islands Grand Championships in 2008.
While in Trinidad, students will
also attend the 2010 Caribbean Martial Arts Hall of Fame awards and appear in
Purple Dragon’s documentary Born 2 Win, while others will remain an extra week,
attending the black belt grading ceremony.
“We are particularly pleased to
travel to Trinidad this year,” said Sensei Floyd. “And we are proud to have
such a range of ages, talents and individuals represent the Cayman Islands. It
truly is a community effort.”
He thanked the corporate sponsors
and individual donors for their support, “without which we could not have
offered such a marvellous opportunity
for our students”.
The inaugural ceremony at the Port
of Spain waterfront, brought together 1,000 international Purple Dragon
students for a gala demonstration of karate skills.