Scotland backs FC International camps

With the World Cup wrapping up a
month ago, football has really taken centre stage on Cayman’s sports scene. All
versions of the game are flourishing and anything football related is popular.

One by-product of all of that is
summer football camps are getting more than a glimmer of attention. Among them
is FC International’s usual summer offerings. The football club, which has its
roots back to the early 1990s, held the first of its camps this week at the
T.E. McField football field in George Town.

Roughly 200 kids came out
throughout the week to partake in football drills and hear speeches from guest
speakers. Among them was the Minister of Sports Mark Scotland. An avid footballer
for many years, Scotland says the camp is benefitting from the increased
popularity of football.

“Football is a very popular sport
now,” Scotland said. “With this camp we see an increase as there around 200
youngsters out compared to last time. Football and its summer camps are much
needed activities this time of year. These kids you see here today could easily
be somewhere else or out doing nothing.”

Scotland has more than a passing
interest in the FC International camps. He serves as President of the Bodden
Town Football Club, where FC International camp director Elbert McLean is head
coach. In addition the Ministry of Youth and Sports has helped fund the camp,
which prides itself on being completely free to participants and offering free
lunches and goodies like footballs and T-shirts. As Scotland states government’s
presence at the camp is nothing new.

“The Ministry of Sports has been a
proud sponsor of the camp every year. It’s important at this time of year for
youngsters to be involved in an activity. Whether it be football, swimming or
some other sport. Over the years we organised the camps to run consecutively so
that kids have an opportunity to attend camps week after week and are given something
to do.

“I commend the coaches and
organisers of the FC Intl camps for their continued commitment to football and
the Ministry will continue to support summer camps like this which offer
activities for kids.”

McLean confirmed that this year’s
camp was an increase over previous offerings. In his opinion much of that
interest stems from the current global recession. “It’s a much bigger group
than last year. The key factor I think is that times are hard and people can’t
afford to go on vacation so they’re trying to find activities to keep their
kids active.

“Then again the maturity of the
kids is good this year as they’re much easier to control now. A lot of them are
older and returning for another year. In fact I’d say about half of them have
returned. That being said I couldn’t do this camp without help from my senior
players at Bodden Town like Charlo McLean, Kareem James and Michael Gourzong.
Also Emily Kelly (Cayman’s star female youth keeper), Lanie McLaughlin (who is
a medic and not many camps can boast having one on-hand) and Thiago Cunha
deserve credit.”

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McLean, left, Ebanks, Scotland and Cunha.
Photo: Matthew Yates
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