West Bay’s Hopes much boosted

It is not everyday that a district rallies around those with drug addictions.

Thus it was a noteworthy occasion that West Bay residents took part in a football tournament to benefit that segment of society.

The Ed Bush practice field in West Bay hosted a one-day football competition on Saturday.

The event benefits the Hope for Today Foundation, an organisation that effectively operates half-way houses for recovering addicts in Cayman.

Six teams took the pitch representing various areas of West Bay.

In the end it was the Northwest Point mixed squad in the final against Birch Tree Hill. Northwest Point claimed the victory in a close match.

The competition also revealed a bevy of local football talent like Jared Yates and Dan Kelly.

One of the athletes who took part was Johnny Johnson Jr, 23. The softball stalwart served as keeper for the Northwest Point squad.

Johnson Jr. states the competition was a good one, especially for the community.

“First of all it has to be said that Jordan Parsons, 12, scored one of the best goals in the tournament during the final,” Johnson Jr. said. “It was a nice fund-raiser and it was good that so many people wanted to help out. We had six teams and lots of footballers came out, which was good. Hopefully it is a bigger tournament next time.

“It wasn’t all about winning but it did feel good to win. For me the trophy is icing on the cake.”

Serving as tournament organiser was Brent Hydes of the foundation.

He served as a line judge throughout the day and had help from volunteer referees Junior Ebanks and Joe Smith.

Hydes states the competition was about getting the public aware of the work being done to help those facing drug problems.

“The tournament was about raising funds, getting community support and raising awareness of what we do,” Hydes said. “There are a lot of volunteers in the foundation. It’s all about trying to help recovering drug addicts and alcoholics while providing them with safe housing. It’s a bridge program that gives those people the best opportunity to turn things around.

“We’ve had about 14 people in the last year come through the programme. A few have been productive and continue to be clean. What we are is a step to recovery for those that really want it. Not everyone wants that.”

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