A local football club brought some holiday cheer to a special needs facility.
FC International ended their 2011 campaign of football camps recently with a stop at Lighthouse school. Led by technical director Elbert McLean and president Kennedy Ebanks, the team taught basic football skills to the students.
Ebanks, who has seen his club go to various districts in the Cayman Islands, states the camp is all about reaching out.
“Our Lighthouse school camp is part of our yearly offerings,” Ebanks said. “The young people at Lighthouse need our attention as a community. They are special people, not just in the needs that they have but in their value to our society.
“My hope is that our camp encourages the public to keep the Lighthouse students and staff in their thoughts. They can benefit greatly from prayers and displays of support for the Christmas season and beyond.”
The Lighthouse camp would get backing from a number of community figures. Local businessmen Renard Moxam and Berna Thompson-Cummins made an appearance along with former Young Caymanian Leadership Award winner Elroy Bryan.
Moxam spoke at the last summer camp in George Town at the TE McField Sports Centre. A former footballer, he states the Lighthouse camp has special importance.
“I was a sponsor of the camp and I was personally involved,” Moxam said. “It says a lot about Kennedy and FC Intl, to do this every year. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the camp off.
“Not only is it about the sport, it’s about the community and the kids. By exercising these young people, both physically and mentally, it gives them confidence, the kind you can get through any sport.”
The Lighthouse camp comes after FC Intl staged a one-day clinic in Bodden Town. Back in September the Haig Bodden field saw dozens of youngsters aged 6-16 partake in drills.
Thompson-Cummins spoke about her decision to support the Lighthouse endeavour.
“I’ve supported FC Intl for some time,” Thompson-Cummins said. “As a former principal and current University College of the Cayman Islands chairman I’ve played a role in helping the youth over the years. It’s always good to touch young people’s lives.” Bryan, a Lighthouse school teacher, states the camp provides a boost for the kids.
“Being able to play sports period breaks down barriers,” Bryan said. “I’ve witnessed that. They give their best, no matter what and the kids look forward to it.”
Ultimately, Ebanks states his thanks go to all the community members who helped out in 2011.
“A number of community members have supported us. The FC Intl staff has done a wonderful job. The young people who have participated and their parents must also be commended. Our sponsors also deserve thanks for enabling us to reach out to the various pockets of Cayman society and stay true to being a community-minded football organization.
“Cayman is always in my thoughts and that is especially true this Christmas season. My prayers and thanks go out to the police, emergency services and elected government officials as they make the transition into the holidays.”