Sue Tresidder, physical education teacher turned counsellor, has had a huge impact on hundreds, if not thousands of boys and girls going through the Cayman Islands public school system since 1974.
That is why she is being recognised by the Department of Sports Women’s Coordinator Merta Day for Honouring Women Month.
“Ms Tresidder has made a positive impact on my life and hundreds of lives, for which I am very grateful to this day,” Day said.
“I credit her for assisting me to reach where I am today. She is the main reason I am involved in sport, and why I love being involved with so many aspects of it. I was encouraged to coach and umpire and was given the opportunity to do so, and was guided throughout her.
“Her sincere and positive encouragement has always been with me, even at the moments when I have not been actually playing a specific type of sports or being as involved on a board or committee, whether to accommodate injuries sustained over the years, or simply to make way for new blood that is better for sport.
“I will always still be involved in sports on some level. Determination, hard work, humility and graciousness in defeat are key components I recall clearly learning from her and I know that she did this for so many of her other students.”
Tresidder knows the importance of support and setting a good example. She says her parents Joyce and Norman Bashford were her greatest influence, as they were both very active and at 91 years young, they are still alive and well.
“I’ll be exercising until I’m 90, just like my mother, if I am fortunate to live that long,” she said.
Her interest in sports was sparked around age nine when she began competitive swimming. She honed her skill to the point where, in 1963, she made the Junior Olympic Squad for the United Kingdom.
She moved to the Cayman Islands as Head of Girls physical education at John Gray High School in 1974. So she knows the importance of sports in the overall development of children.
“Through sports, children learn discipline, tenacity, resilience, team spirit and a commitment to shared goals. I wanted to have a career that I loved and I loved sport, so it was a no-brainer,” she said.
“I do think sports are important for the development of girls but I can’t differentiate how this would be any different from boys. Both girls and boys gain confidence in many aspects of life from taking part in sports,” she added.
In addition to setting a good example and encouraging children to be the best they can be, she is proud that as a PE teacher,
“I took the first ever Cayman school team overseas to compete,” she said. “It was in 1975 in Browns Town, Jamaica. The girls were in awe as many of them had never been away from home before. It was quite memorable.”
Then in 1994, Tresidder decided a career change was in order because she noticed a change in herself.
She wanted to make a difference in how children were feeling and thinking so she buckled down and got her qualifications in children’s psychology.
Tresidder is also pleased to be selected for Honouring Women Month. “I think Honouring Women Month is a lovely idea and I think we need to have an HMM as well.”
Reflecting on her contribution to many young lives through sport, Tressider said: “What touches me is when I go to the bank or just about anywhere, and my past students share their memories about their time in school with me.”