FC International is all about providing life lessons through football.
While the organisation no longer has a team in any of the local leagues, its message enjoys vast approval from the Cayman Islands football fraternity. Among the supporters is Scholars FC founding member and current youth director Ralph Williams.
“I congratulate FC International as over the years they have done a marvellous job with the kids,” Williams said. “We need to encourage young people. I appeal to the private sector to come on board and support programmes like that.
“Kids are our future and these programmes can help to stop crime in particular, which is a great concern of mine. This country is changing very fast and if it’s not for them, then who are we developing for?”
Williams was one of the football figures to grace FC International’s free annual George Town summer camp. Two of the notable faces at the T.E. McField Sports Centre, commonly called the Annex, were Graham Rankin and Donald Solomon.
Rankin, a born and raised East Ender, states Cayman’s national sport has created many good citizens.
“A lot of kids are upright citizens that have an education and are stable in the community through football,” Graham said. “You have guys like Lee Ramoon, who went away because of football.
“The kids of that era wanted it more than the kids of today, who have too much distractions. We had to play football, there was no Nintendo or anything else. Plus, it was one of the only ways out there to advance ourselves.”
Joining the footballers were two legends on the Cayman music scene in jazz player Edward ‘Eddie’ Solomon (who has a number of nicknames including Solly) and local music producer Charles ‘Greg’ Gregory of Hopscotch Recording Studios. Both spoke about the importance of sports and music in the lives of young people.
Fellow music icon Lammie and centenarian Julia Hydes were expected to attend but cancelled due to health concerns.
From here, FC International will be staging one-week camps across Cayman, heading out to locales like Fairbanks Prison, Lighthouse School, North Side and Cayman Brac.
Ultimately, Donald states football’s benefit is limitless.
“Football has a 100 per cent positive impact on life,” Donald said. “It keeps the youth out of trouble, keeps them fit and away from drugs. Football and education go a long way.
“Football is fun, it is a life and it is beneficial throughout the world.”