The Vivian Rankine Memorial Darts Tournament is as much about sports as it is about building unity in the community.
The Grand Caymanian resort was the venue for the 13th and final year of the tournament. The competition was first held at the All Ranks Police Club in 1999 to honour Vivian Rankine, who was a dedicated member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and an avid lover of darts, among other sports.
Vivian passed away in 1998, leaving behind a 4-year-old son, George. This year, like in years past, George, now 18, was on hand to lend support and officially open the tournament. The spectacle was held every year since 1999 with the exception of 2004, when Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc on the Cayman Islands. The tournament was well attended, registering a record number in 36 players, excluding three volunteers and two committee members.
The tournament got under way after a minute of silence to remember Vivian and other fallen dart players such as past committee member Trevor Lloyd, who died in 2010.
All dart players proudly wore their tournament shirts, sponsored by LIME and beautifully done by Cayman Screen Print.
“As committee chairman, I am forever be grateful to Lime for their generous sponsorship of the tournament since 1999,” said Martin Bodden, one of the tournament organisers. “This year we also had our very own Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who was sought after from a year ago.
“Franz, who used to be an avid darts player himself, had no hesitation when asked if he could grace us with his presence at the awards presentation. I was very delighted that he took time out from his busy schedule to attend.”
The tournament started off with 501 Singles, with the loser dropping down to division B and winners advancing to the A division. There were some 18 trophies and other prizes up for grabs.
Immediately following the singles was the doubles- which was luck of the draw, meaning players who were registered had no idea who their partner be prior to the tournament.
Trophies went to first, second and third place in both divisions in the singles and doubles categories. Deputy Governor Manderson was also presented with an award and a medal for his support. Every player and all of the organisers received a medal of participation. Bodden stated many people deserved kudos for the tournament’s success.
“I was asked where was my medal for my work and my response was my satisfaction comes in the gratification I received by seeing everyone happy,” Bodden said. “It’s phenomenal seeing the tournament reach a successful conclusion after all my years of involvement, considering the fact that at the beginning of the tournament in 1999, there were 10 committee members and the number now stands at three, with myself being the last of the founding members.
“I want to thank God for all the wisdom he has given me and for keeping me encouraged seeing this through to the end. I give special thanks to Carol Johnson, who was my right hand. Without her hard work dedication and support, the challenges would have been many. Special thanks to Horace Duquesnay, who hosted the tournament at the Corner Pocket for several years.”
The tournament had sponsors such as Rellim International, Carlos and Martin’s, LIME, Caybrew and Cayman Screen Print. Special thanks goes to Cayman Free Press and Photo Journalist Matthew Yates for the years of dedicated tournament coverage. Mr. Yates cannot be thanked enough for always being on board. The other media houses also earned praise for covering the tournament in past years.
The Grand Caymanian, through representative Victor Rebeiro, received a certificate of appreciation for serving as hosts. The venue and resort staff met all expectations.
Last but not least, funds raised over the past 13 years totalled CI$14,477.11. A symbolic check was handed over to recipient George Rankine, who is being assisted with his college education as he wishes to become a marine biologist. All of the players in attendance signed and wrote small messages of encouragement on the check so that he could proudly mount it in his home to remember all who would have helped with his education.
“Special thanks to all of the players present and past and also past committee members who also contributed significantly to the cause,” Bodden said. “The Vivian Rankine Memorial was a really exciting weekend full of fun and it was a bitter sweet feeling that it was the last year for the tournament.
“But, I’m happy to know that good things are in the making, where a “Memorial Tournament” will be organized which would honour all fallen dart players with funds raised going to worthy causes. Anyone who wants further information on that can contact me on 916-0509 or [email protected]”