Nearly two years ago local basketball made its much-need shift indoors. Now the sport has grown in leaps and bounds with much of that progress coming on the court at Camana Bay.
So far this year Arts and Recreation Centre has served as the venue for two major competitions: the Appleby Under 19 Basketball League and the 2011 national women’s league.
Ladies, such as top scorer Cassianne Lawrence of the Lady Wolves, will be hanging up their sneakers by the end of the month.
Both competitions are put on by the Cayman Islands Basketball Association, who will also utilize the centre for its premier tournament, the national men’s league, next month. Interestingly the association used the centre for its first indoor match back in July 2009.
The feedback from Camana Bay officials has not only been positive, but intriguing.
Public Relations Manager Joanne Gammage, who has had a long link to local sports from her days with government, states in passing that more sports facilities are in the works.
Property Manager for Camana Bay Sports Jeff Wight has a similar background after working with the Ministry of Sports. Wight states Camana Bay has a top-notch facility and is catering to more than just basketball.
“Dart Realty’s investment in community sports facilities at Camana Bay represents almost 30 million dollars,” Wight said. “The indoor and outdoor facilities are open to individuals, organisations and companies in the evenings and on weekends and include: a 75,000 square foot regulation size synthetic grass football field; an eight-lane, 25 metre swimming pool; two outdoor basketball and tennis courts and the 20,000 square foot centre.
Aware of Cayman’s growing attraction as a sports tourism destination, Dart Realty purposefully designed these world-class facilities with men’s and women’s lockers, showers and changing rooms and (in the case of the centre) indoor, retractable bleacher seating.
“The centre is a great indoor facility for sports such as basketball, because it incorporates the unique design that Camana Bay has become known for with the functionality of a high-quality sports venue.
The court surface is Olympic-quality Taraflex flooring, which is approved for play at the highest levels of international competition and is a durable material that can be easily maintained in our climate.
The centre can also accommodate up to 400 spectators in the retractable bleachers which, when full, create an amazing game experience for fans and players.
I’d like to think the centre has made it easy for basketball to move indoors, allowing the community to showcase our local athletes in a wonderful basketball facility.”
Interestingly the centre, which is located on the grounds of Cayman International School, can be used for volleyball and badminton.
It can also be booked for use by members of the public (by calling 640-3641 Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm).
The official stance of the basketball association continues to be that Camana Bay has helped the sport grow.
National women’s coach and technical director for Cayman basketball Victor “Voot” O’Garro has long maintained that basketball’s move indoors has helped greatly.
“I’m excited with the level of basketball in Cayman,” O’Garro said. “Since playing indoors the game has grown by leaps and bounds and will continue to grow.”