Private schools all pitch in

 

News of the upcoming private school
football tournament is welcome for Cayman sports. At the same time it sheds
light on an organisation that hopes to make an impact on the sports scene in
the future.

The Private Schools Association of
the Cayman Islands is putting on a seven-a-side football tournament. Hosted at
the Cayman International School field, the event takes place Thursday 3
February 10am-7pm. Eight schools are taking part in the competition in Cayman
Academy, Cayman International, Cayman Prep, Grace Christian Academy, Hope
Academy, St. Ignatius, Triple C and Wesleyan Academy.

Jeremy Moore is the Principal of
Cayman International’s secondary school and serves as the main organiser and founder
of the event. Moore, 35, hails from Orlando, Florida and has been in Cayman a
few months.

He states the association is not
new and the tournament is about building its profile, that of the various
private schools and growing participation in healthy activities such as
football.

“The association has convened for
over 25 years in Grand Cayman,” Moore said. “This organisation was developed as
a forum for private schools to share ideas and issues in the field of education
and to promote positive relationships and collaboration among all private
schools on the island. The association meets monthly, is attended by directors
and principals from private schools and is currently chaired by Samantha
Tibbetts.

“Thursday’s event is important for
private schools because it gives kids an opportunity to compete against their
peers and allows them to meet and interact with students that they might not
otherwise come in contact with.

“It’s important for kids to branch
out beyond the walls of the school they attend and have friendly competition
and socialization with others. I’m not yet fully connected with the local
football scene, but my hope is that this tournament will be a positive contribution
to local football.

“It has been discussed that coaches
may select “all-star” players from each team in this tournament and have this
team of all-stars compete against a public school team(s) that may be
interested in a full field game.

“I truly believe that team sports
provide a valuable learning opportunity for students and makes them more
well-rounded and balanced individuals. In addition, research studies indicate
positive effects of participation in high school sports on academic
achievement.”

The eight teams, who are expected
to field players taking part in local youth football leagues, will compete for
a number of awards. A large trophy cup with multiple engraved plates is the
grand prize while plaques are given to each of the top three teams. All
participants will receive a medal and T-shirt compliments of sponsors Burger
King, Osetra Bay, Mourant Ozannes and Popeyes.

Interestingly the Cayman Islands
Football Association is behind the tournament. In addition to providing a guest
speaker, the association will also make certified referees available for the
matches.

All of the games will be played
under seven-a-side FIFA rules with no offside penalty in place. Matches are
split up into two 12-minute halves with squads having up to 10 players (with
team members being 18 years-old and under).

Moore is quick to say that the plan
going forward is to have events across various sports for private school
students put on by the association in the future.

“While I can’t speak on behalf of
the entire association, I am working to build more formalized interscholastic
sports leagues, competitions and tournaments for private schools. I can
envision private schools participating in interscholastic leagues with a different
sport (e.g. basketball or volleyball) played each term. The relatively small
size of private secondary schools poses a challenge but this tournament is one
example that interscholastic competition can definitely succeed.

“These leagues and tournaments can
promote school spirit and increase the excitement and energy on school campuses
across the island. Sports can help kids feel connected to their schools and
when kids have a sense of ownership and connectedness, they achieve at higher
levels and have a positive school experience.”

For more information contact Jeremy
Moore on 945-4664 or e-mail [email protected].ky

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