West Bay pulled together again

The Community Cup tournament in West Bay is growing and everyone connected with staging the annual tournament deserves a pat on the back no matter how small their input.

The third instalment of the West Bay Sports Foundation’s West Bay Community Cup Football Tournament attracted plenty of supporters to the Ed Bush Sports Complex.

The popular annual youth football tournament two weeks ago raised a significant amount of funds through donations at the gate, the sale of refreshments and sponsorship from a number of local companies including Burger King, Atwater Consulting and Domino’s Pizza.

As is customary, the funds raised were donated by the West Bay Sports Foundation to a number of young Caymanians pursuing their education and sporting careers overseas. They all got $500. This year’s recipients included Cameron Gray, 13, who attends the Reading Football Club Youth Academy in the UK; Kimberly Rivers, who will be attending college in the US, The other recipients were Michael Johnson, who attends college in Tennessee, Jermaine Wilson, who attends college in the UK and Benjamin Cupid, who has transferred to a college in Florida from Ohio. A donation was made to the Cayman Athletic Sports Club who sent two youth teams to the 2012 Disney Cup in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend, as did Academy.

As for the football, it was an exciting tournament with the best Under-11, U-13 and U-15 players on show. With Academy Sports Club entering two teams in the U-11 and U-13 divisions and a single team in the U-15s, it was no surprise that they claimed the U-13 and U-15 titles.

In the U-13 title game, Academy ‘A’ overcame Academy ‘B’ and in the U-15 final, Academy squeezed past Cayman Athletic on penalties. In the U-11 division, it was the youngsters from the PFL Youth Programme who claimed the title defeating Sunset in the final.

In between games, awards were presented on behalf of the foundation to members of the community in recognition and appreciation of their outstanding contribution and dedication to youth football development in the Cayman Islands. Recipients included Roy ‘Huta’ Ebanks, Dave Kelly and Neil Murray.

Co-founder of the West Bay Sports Foundation Ardin ‘Cheeky’ Rivers was grateful for the support of the Cayman community. He said: “We thank everyone for coming out and supporting the youngsters. We strive to improve on the tournament each year and the format of the games was well received by players, coaches and the fans.

“Special thanks to the sponsors for this tournament and the Swindon Town tournament and to our group of volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this year’s Community Cup a great success. We wish all the recipients success in their studies and on the field.”

Renda Cornwall is a member of the foundation. She said: “Thanks to all our sponsors for their kind contributions. They are the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, CIFA, CUC, Fire Extinguisher Pros, Smalls Construction, AtWater, Walkers, Maples and Calder, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Hew’s Cleaning Services, Fabrizone Cleaning Systems, Wayne Panton, PBP&J Development, Burger King, Dale Creighton, Onethreefourfive Collections, Dave Kelly, Domino’s Pizza, Foster’s Food Fair, Bodden Beverages, Admiral Administration, McAlpine Ltd and Paramount Carpet.”

Also sponsored this year were Kray Foster who received US$500 for a football trial with UK team Swindon Town, Latorae Nixon who got US$500 for a basketball camp at Eckerd University in Tampa and Romario Dixon who also got US$500 for an Academy football trip to Europe.

Ardin Rivers added that the tournament this year was bigger with more teams participating. In his opinion, the camaraderie between the coaches and the players made football the winner of the day.

Cline Glidden, MLA for West Bay, who has always been actively involved in the community, said that he was honoured to be a part of the tournament which was a great day. He said that the combination of the purpose of the function and the coming together of community minded individuals to sacrifice and volunteer their time was most impressive.

Glidden said that the highlight for him was the fact that the West Bay Sports Foundation is able to attract other clubs, organisations and individuals from a wide cross section of the island.

Glidden added that the foundation’s help of Jason Foster, 17, who has his short-sightedness improved which will enable him to play football, is admirable. Foster’s treatment, which cost over $10,000m, has given him a life transformation which transcends sports, thereby, giving him the opportunity to tap into his full potential in every capacity, added Glidden who believes that the foundation serves as a good model to encourage other community minded persons to come forward to help.

Deena Rivers, assistant secretary for the foundation said: “I thought the tournament was another successful event with over 120 young footballers participating and a well supported crowd.

“The day went smoothly and everyone was in community spirit. The highlight of the day for me was seeing Jason Foster, walking around the complex, free of glasses. He is now in a better position to play and enjoy the game he loves so much. This is what our foundation is all about, impacting the lives of our young people.”

Every year the West Sports Foundation donates the gate proceeds to a charity and this time it was given to the Chapel Church of God West Bay’s Afterschool Programme who raised a total of $1,011.

Currently, the programme has around 25 students and fluctuates up to 40 at times. It operates Monday through Friday from 3-6pm at the Church Hall and parents interested in signing up their kids should contact Crispin Myles on 939-6581.

Cornwall said: “The foundation is extremely happy to know that these funds were raised to help out with the after school programme. This is exactly what it is about and these are the people we want to help.

“Investing in the lives of our young people is always an asset and it not only benefits them, but it benefits our communities and country as a whole. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made contributions to this very worthy cause and a huge success.

Academy’s Glenn Whewell said: “This tournament was excellent. Academy Sports Club was really grateful again to be invited. The event was very well planned, organised and ran smoothly thanks to the countless hours of preparation given by the West Bay Sports Foundation. The atmosphere throughout the day was both competitive on the field and relaxed in the stands with different teams mingling and socialising off the field.

“This was so well organised and a positive experience that all players and clubs across the island should look forward to the tournament next year. The tournament’s biggest success was that it reinforced the massive potential that football has to bring people together across the island in a spirit of enjoyment, healthy competition and friendship.”