The West Bay community really came together for the second year running for its annual youth football tournament to help raise money for good causes on Monday.
The West Bay Sports Community Foundation by Boca Juniors Under-13 football tournament at the Ed Bush stadium was a huge success.
The winners in the final who went home with the West Bay Community Cup were Academy who beat Future 3-1. Future had beaten Academy 1-0 in an earlier group match so expectations of a close contest were high. The only difference though was the brilliance of little Sebastian Martinez who scored twice – including a superb header – and Tyrik Barnes. Future’s scorer was Cameron Powery.
The other four teams were Bodden Town – last year’s winners – Cayman Athletic, Elite and a primary school collective. The organisers were Ardin ‘Cheeky’ Rivers (founder), Mervin Smith (co-founder), Jackie Bodden, Deena Rivers, Renda Cornwall, Idania Ebanks, Phillip Hydes, Greg Ebanks, William Medina, Jesse Medina, Dion Brandon and Tiger Wilson.
Renda Cornwall helped with the planning of the tournament in an administrative and PR position as well as worked at the event on the day.
The sponsors were; Creighton Properties, Western Union, Jimmy Powell, Bruce Blake, Captain Marvin’s Watersports, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, Spirit of the West, MJS Plumbing and Fire Extinguisher Pros.
A whole raft of helpers as well as the organisers helped make the day run well. Cheeky Rivers said: “The tournament far exceeded our expectations. The attendance, the amount of sponsorships and the high level of play all contributed to making the day a great success.”
Mervin Smith said: “An increase in teams from four last year to six this time made the tournament more exciting and competitive. Our sponsors increased, the attendance was definitely up and we were able to honour three long standing supporters of football in the community.
“We were also able to attract other local media this year such as CITN and Radio Cayman. The Caymanian Compass returned once again and we say a big thank you for their continued support. The tournament was well received as was evident by the large number of supporters and fans who came out.”
Collin Anglin, director of sport, said: “I thought that the tournament went pretty well. It was a great opportunity for various clubs to intermingle and compete in a friendly atmosphere and the purpose for the tournament was also excellent as it was to benefit youth programmes and give financial assistance to student athletes overseas.
“It is a wonderful testament to the great spirit that exist in sports. I would like to express gratitude to the organisers, volunteers and the sponsors who came together to make the tournament a reality.”
Jeffrey Webb, president of the football association, spent the afternoon there. He said: “I thought that the tournament went excellent. I am very proud of Cheeky Rivers as a former international football player for the Cayman Islands to now come back and make a valuable contribution to sports and the needy through the use of football.
“He has chosen to assist the younger generation by using his time and efforts, whilst enlisting some of his family members and friends to assist, in order to provide an opportunity for these youngsters to interact and have fun in a community and social environment.
“Overall, the entire day went very well and I believe it is an exemplary model for other clubs and districts to follow.”
Cheeky Rivers was pleased with the overall support. He said: “Due to the increase in sponsorships, we were able this year to sponsor seven young Caymanians who are furthering their education.
“This now makes a total of 10 young Caymanians the foundation has sponsored in two years. Additionally, a very generous donor – who wishes to remain anonymous – has stepped up to pay up to $4,000 towards the eye surgery for young Jason Foster who has cataracts.
“Another highlight was the wonderful atmosphere of togetherness that was evident amongst the coaches, the players and even the spectators. Last but not least, all games were evenly contested and no team went through the tournament undefeated.
“These results were partly due but not limited to, the skilful prowess of players like Ashanti Jackson, Sebastian Martinez, Jordan McLean, Juawon Ebanks, Kareem Foster, Ricardo Wright, Daniel Manderson and an unsung hero in my opinion, Dante Ramoon, who with his quiet demeanour, made a very strong and dominant presence in the midfield for Academy.”
Cornwall added: “The organisers would like to give a special thanks to Neil Murray who was the tournament director, who successfully scheduled the games and has run the tournament both years.
“Additionally, we thank Collin Anglin, Felix Manzanares, Dave Kelly and Dexter Rivers for their participation in the programmes and a huge thank you to the Cayman Islands Referee Association for their assistance.
“We are also deeply appreciate the help of MLA Cline Glidden, Jeffrey Webb and Carl Brown, the technical director of football, for their attendance.
“Next year the foundation is committed to making the tournament even bigger and better by hosting an overseas team to help give exposure and experience to our local players.”
Three veterans of the football scene here were community award recipients, in recognition and appreciation of their outstanding service and dedication to the West Bay Community – Lenny Hew, Rhuel Smith and Ivan Farrington.
The Abijah Rivers Most Valuable Player Award went to Academy’s Sebastian Martinez and the leading scorer in the tournament was Tyrik Barnes.
The sponsorship awards went to Elite who received $1,000 to be divided between Benji Cupid, Donovan Godet and Jason Ebanks who all attend Hiram University. Bodden Town got $500 for Ramon Sealy, Cayman Athletic received $500 for the club and Future got $500 for Sophie Roberts who is at UCCI. Women United were awarded $300 for Brianna Hydes and Academy got $500 for Cordell Andrade. The gate proceeds went to Nigel Grant, the popular security guard who has suffered a stroke.
To offer help to the foundation
contact them on: 927-7011 or 916-5041.