Footie keeps Lenny young at heart

He may be 74 years-old but Lenny Hew keeps young with one of his biggest passions in life: football.

Hew was one of the guest speakers at last week’s George Town summer football camp, put on by FC International football club. Taking place at the TE McField Sports Centre, some 80 youngsters aged 6-16 came out to learn skills and glean advice from Hew.

One of the points the local businessman was quick to make is that the children should take better care of their equipment.

“I wished all the campers well and I urged them to respect the game and the equipment that goes with it,” Hew said. “Overall in the Cayman society, the younger ones don’t recognize values. They need to exercise some values and improve their respect for what has been done for them. Things were hard years ago. For example you learned to take care of the boots and gear you had because they would have to last two years.

“It is a wise thing for us to talk to them. They should have pride and place value on things like their gear. They are privileged. Everything is given to them. For example this camp was free and everything was given to them.”

For Hew, who currently lives in West Bay, speaking at the George Town camp is the latest proof of his love for the sport. He states he supports local clubs, is involved with referee duties and even plays football every Saturday with family, friends and staff from his companies (such as Hew’s janitorial services).

“I still play on Saturdays with family, friends and staff from the different companies. We’re normally at Camana Bay with two full teams. It’s a way to keep the grand-children and staff active. All of my sons (Chris, Richard and Joey Hew) are involved in sports. I’m fully retired and I support as many clubs as I can. I’m also on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association referee executive panel.”

Aside from Hew, a pair of guest speakers were at the George Town camp in fellow businessman Renard Moxam and George Town MLA Ellio Solomon. Interestingly Solomon, who has supported the camp for a number of years, focused his message on the link between football and achievement.

“People won’t remember me in the annals of football,” Solomon said. “Some would argue I had two left feet. But I can tell you that football shaped me for the better. Apply your mind to football because if you do that you can apply your mind to life. Once you make yourself proud in the sport then others will be proud of you in life.”

The George Town camp is one of a number of completely free summer initiatives organized by FC International. Under club president Kennedy Ebanks and camp director Elbert McLean (known for his work as technical director of Bodden Town Football Club) the camps have spread throughout the Cayman Islands. This summer is no different with a North Side session wrapping up this week and a Bodden Town and Lighthouse school camp taking place over the next two weeks.

Hew, who came to Cayman from Jamaica in 1958 at age 21, states all of the FC International camps are necessary for Cayman football.

“The camps are always welcome as they enhance the profile of football here. They help youngsters from different areas receive lessons in basic parts of the game. Camps like this have proven value to football and Kennedy has taken up the slack having them every year.

“They really help to instil discipline in players. Even kids with no football aspirations can be taught self-discipline and allowed to practice showing discipline with others. I always support the camp and for quite a few years I was involved. The turnout was good this year and the results are very encouraging. It’s a good movement Kennedy has started.”

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