The Cayman Islands government will showcase local talent in a new way in 2012.
Minister of Sports Mark Scotland has announced billboards will be placed around Grand Cayman highlighting the achievements of young Caymanians in sports, education and the arts.
“Early in the New Year, in partnership with the Office of the Premier and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports we will install billboards across the Island,” Minister Scotland said. “They will highlight achievements in sports, education and arts. We also plan to make the honouring of our athletes a full-fledged national event every year.”
Mr. Scotland made the announcement last week in Heroes Quare during a national ceremony honouring the sporting achievements of Brett and Shaune Fraser and Jordan ‘JJ’ McLean. The Fraser brothers qualified for the Olympics in the 200 metre freestyle event for the second straight occasion and will compete at the 2012 Games in London. The George Town natives, sons of Laurice and Jim Fraser, also won gold and silver at the Pan-Am Games in Mexico, with Brett breaking a 16-year-old record in the process.
McLean, who hails from Bodden Town, competed in the Jet Ski world championships in Lake Havasu, Arizona. There he would claim the International Jet Sports Boating Association Pro Runabout limited world title. The son of Mack and Elaine McLean also won the US national tour series in 2011.
Premier McKeeva Bush supported the billboard initiative, saying they will boost national pride.
“I thank the Minister of Sports for moving forward with this event (the national ceremony). I would like to see our athletes and their pictures where you can see them,” Mr. Bush said.
“These billboards are one way of showcasing them and saying we support you.”
Premier Bush and Minister Scotland did not make clear what the billboards would look like.
An exact time line for the completion of the project also was not revealed.
The three young men, all in their early 20s, were humbled by the display of government support. Brett Fraser voiced his approval of the billboard endeavour.
“I hope it serves as motivation to young kids, with anything they do,” Mr. Fraser said.
“I hope it serves as a symbol to our youth that the sky is the limit. I thank the leaders of this country for making Cayman proud.”