Wolves basketball club have a strong following in the George Town community. Proof of that came recently with a local business pledging support for the women’s team.
The Lady Wolves basketball squad have received sponsorship from Central Cooling. The residential air conditioning company recently had a cheque presentation to mark their involvement. On hand for the presentation was Central Cooling owner Julian Wood, Wolves team president Lovane “Pelo” Joven, Lady Wolves captain Sheneka Moore and her co-captain Benecia Thompson.
Wood, a former footballer, is no stranger to sports sponsorship as his company backs football side Cayman Athletic Sports Club. The Bodden Town resident, who grew up in George Town, states his support of the Wolves comes from a personal connection.
“I intend to be committed to the team for the long haul,” Wood said. “It’s more like a family to me than merely a sports team. I used to play basketball recreationally for years and I grew up in an area of Town called Central. Me and Pelo grew up together so I wanted to be part of his Wolves club.
“It’s also an added bonus that through this team and the sport of basketball women can get fit, which will benefit them in the long run. I also see a lot of similarities between the team and my business. With just a handful of employees we have 300 clients in Cayman. I see the Wolves being built the same way.”
Joven grew up in Windsor Park and formed the Wolves side with head coach Duran “Trini” Whittaker five years ago. In that time the club has claimed two consecutive national men’s championships and an Under-19 title. With all of that success Joven states it is a positive for sponsors to be involved.
“With the sponsors we’re able to take care of the players,” Joven said. “We’re able to help out with injuries and provide necessities like water and ice for games. With Julian coming on board it makes me feel good because he’s a young Caymanian that truly cares about sports. It’s also a personal honour because we’ve known each other since childhood.
“The support we get is not only for the women but the club as a whole. I want Wolves to be a household name in Cayman and that can only happen as basketball grows in these islands.”
The consensus among the players is that the sponsorship provides a sense of relief. It’s no secret that it costs hundreds of dollars to enter a squad in a Cayman Islands Basketball Association competition. In addition it takes money to provide uniforms. Both Moore and Thompson state the result of Wood’s support is less stress on the team.
“I’m relieved because before the season started there was a big hunt trying to find a sponsor,” Moore said. “Funding the team was a question. We (the girls on the team) wanted our own voice (in basketball) and Julian gave us the opportunity to have that.”
“It’s awesome, it feels good,” Thompson said. “I’m happy that Julian got on board. Pelo and Trini were taking a lot of money out of their pockets to run the team.”