Lucille Seymour has been the face of Cayman netball for decades, but now she is contemplating retirement.
Seymour alluded to the move at the recent Cayman Islands Netball Association annual opening uniform parade. The netball association president recently clarified her position.
“I told the girls when we got a national coach and that person was up to standard, I would quit,” Seymour said. “I would take my time and exit. I’m training people, we have four or five now, to take the position over, as not to depend completely on me.
“What’s most difficult is to fundraise. I wouldn’t mind doing that, if I do it (on a board level).”
Seymour, who is in her late 60s, has been in the sport for over 35 years. According to netball association records, in 1977 she was part of the first executive board. The George Town native shortly became association vice president and was part of the Caribbean Netball Association in 1978-1979.
A former Member of the Legislative Assembly, Seymour has been president of Cayman netball since 1983. During her 29-year tenure, she has witnessed government build the current Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts, overseen Cayman participate in regional tournaments, helped players compete and gain an education abroad and been honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for her contribution to local sports.
Seymour, who helped bring in a national coach this year in Gillian Lee, states she already has a succession plan.
“I’ve given it a long haul, I’ve done well with the women of this nation. The time is now for other people to step up and take over. That’s what groups like ours have to do.
“I’m doing a lot to groom up someone at the front after me. Remember, I’m speaking from the helm, I’m not finished with netball. I’m not leaving netball to walk away into the sunset.”
The netball association now has a clearly defined executive board. Norma Ferryman is the first vice president with Lyneth Monteith as the second vice president. Indiana Watson is treasurer, Onicia Mitchell is secretary and Linda McField serves as an advisor.
McField, who was named a lifetime member of the association back in 1991, was the emcee for the 2012 uniform parade. In her opening remarks, she noted that Seymour had previously spoken about retirement.
“I know Lucille is contemplating retirement, she has been in netball many years,” McField said. “She has taken the job seriously as netball president. For those aspiring to take over, you have big shoes to fit. There are some people she has been grooming and to them I say don’t take it lightly.”
The parade took place at Truman Bodden and honoured many ladies. John A Cumber Primary School won the Under-9 and Under-11 age groups ahead of Red Bay Primary and East End Primary. John Gray High School claimed the top two spots in the U14 group, via the Jets and Blazers with the Clifton Hunter High School team, sponsored by Cimboco, in third.
The second Clifton Hunter squad, sponsored by Goldfield, would win the U16 crown ahead of the John Gray High Tigers and John Gray High Flames. For the second straight year, Unity won the seniors (adult) category. Rising Stars placed second and rookie squad Renegades finished third.
Honourable mention goes to the Flames Strikers, who were dazzling in their yellow and black uniforms, the Ernst and Young Hot Shots in their black and orange kits and St. Ignatius school, with their blue, white and red outfits.
Sports Minister Mark Scotland was present for the parade and briefly praised Seymour’s commitment to netball.
“Lucille has been in the sport over the years and I congratulate her for her achievements over the years,” Scotland said.
Scotland was among the invited guests, which included Clifton Hunter High principal Pauline Beckford and the Director of Sports Collin Anglin.
Beckford gave an interesting speech about the impact of netball on young women.
“Netball has been integral to me from my days as a school girl,” Beckford said. “Girls, remember, N is for netball, a game of four quarters with squads of 12 players. E is for enthusiasm and encouragement, you have to adjust to being positive until the final whistle. T is for team work and talent, you have to be a cohesive group.
“B is for balls and bibs, coaches tear their hair out without equipment and without them there is no game. A is for attitude, it’s all about being positive. The first L is for love and leadership, without a doubt you must eat, sleep and dream netball and you have to lead from the front as a captain and vice captain.
“The second L is for longevity, I’ve been a coach, player and netball mum and as a parent, I know about the sacrifices involved. I wish all of the girls, especially the Clifton Hunter teams, all the best in the coming season.”
The parade marks the start of the netball association’s 2012-2013 open league, which is slated to begin this Thursday, 15 November, from 6.30pm at Truman Bodden. All Stars A, behind talents like Pauline Bodden, are the reigning national champions.
Ultimately, Seymour states she was pleased with the parade and is focused on the future.
“Linda (McField) knows what I’m doing and for the parade, I stood in the background and let the others run with it. They only asked for my advice. I was very pleased with it.
“Going forward, Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Pauline’s daughter and one of the top players in England, is coming here this month.”