As the first female (Acting) Commandant of the Cadet Corps in the Cayman Islands and possibly a first in the Caribbean region, Bobeth O’Garro is driven to succeed, regardless of the task.
Growing up, O’Garro’s parents Neville and Tassel Daley instilled in their daughter the need to strive for the pinnacle of success, whether in sports or her academic pursuits. “No matter what you do, make sure you do it well,” her parents told her constantly, Bobeth recalled.
Her pursuit of excellence and her numerous sporting accomplishments have led her to be selected by Merta Day, coordinator of women’s sports in the Department of Sports, as one of the outstanding sports women for Honouring Women Month.
“Bobeth O’Garro makes an outstanding role model for all, regardless of gender or age. She succeeds and is always looking for ways to improve herself and those around her,” Day said.
“I feel privileged to be selected as one of the women for Honouring Women’s Month,” O’Garro said. “There are so many unsung heroes and being recognised for something that I do for enjoyment, is great.”
Her quest for self improvement is evident in her achievement as an athlete in various sports, as a referee and coach. Her athletic titles in recent years include MVP in Gaelic football and flag football.
She earned best defensive player in basketball two consecutive years 2009-10. In netball, her team QuikCash Storm, were champions 2007-08. She has represented the Cayman Islands in netball, basketball and football over the years.
As an athlete, O’Garro adopted a “take-no-prisoners” attitude and worked her heart and soul out to ensure that her teammates got the chance to score. In other words, she had a selfless attitude that went beyond winning. “More than anything, even more than winning, I wanted everyone on our team too look good.”
More recently though, O’Garro has been more involved on the officiating side of basketball. In fact, she is working towards becoming Cayman’s first female FIBA-certified referee.
She said: “I am a Level 1 FIBA- certified coach and I intend to get my Level Two certification, once the course is offered again in the Cayman Islands. I am also a member of the CIBA Coaches and Referees Association.”
O’Garro, 33, is married to Dwight O’Garro, who is also a national basketball player and referee. She is a mother of two and the daughter-in-law of Victor ‘Voot’ O’Garro, national technical director of the Cayman Islands basketball association. So, basketball is sort of the family business. Her kids, Joshua and Micah are also up and coming athletes.
She became involved in sports because she wanted to be a part of things and it brought out her competitive nature. Aside from her parents’ advice, several coaches over the years have instilled in her the drive to succeed with their support and encouragement.
“They taught me that you don’t always need to be the most talented, but rather you have to work hard and play hard and the success will follow,” O’Garro said.
Motivated by the richness that sports have added to her life, she encourages all to get involved. “I have been encouraged to live a healthy, active drug-free lifestyle.
“I am a focused individual, with self-confidence and discipline in all that I do and I am able to work well with a team. I have learnt how to be a good leader, while working with others.
“I have also developed lifelong friendships through sports. Whether kicking the ball on the field or going for a long six mile run, sports have also been a stress reliever for me.”
O’Garro cites research that has shown that women’s involvement in sports decreases the likelihood of teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. “It gives us women the will to stand up for ourselves and to feel empowered in abusive relationships.”
She noted that although there is growing involvement in sports by Cayman’s women, the effort that is put into women’s competitions and leagues is not always equal to that of the men. “This needs to be improved.”