The Island Games will be staged in Bermuda next month, which means Cayman will be chasing another big haul of medals against 23 other countries.
The main criterion is that competing islands cannot have a population of more than 250,000, so Cayman’s 55,000 or so people easily qualifies.
This tournament is organised every two years and competition is in a range of up to 14 sports chosen by the host island from an approved list of 18.
The NatWest Island Games 2013 runs from 13 to 19 July. Around 2,000 athletes and officials plus supporters will attend.
Cayman’s squash team will be a strong one again. They won a gold, two silvers and two bronzes in the Isle of Wight in 2011 and hope to improve upon that.
Caroline Heal won gold in the ladies singles last time, while silver was won by Myron Blair and Marlene West in the mixed doubles and also in the men’s doubles through Gabe Rabess and Cameron Stafford.
Stafford, Rabess, David Finch, West and Heal collectively won bronze in the team event and the other bronze was in the ladies doubles, won by Jaclyn Ridgeway and Chantelle Day.
This year’s eight-member team includes novice pro Stafford, who is shooting up the world rankings, along with junior star Julian Jervis, West, Eilidh Bridgeman, Jacquelyn Geils, Rabess, Mark Chaloner, who is a former world No. 7 and now the Cayman Islands national coach, and player/manager Janet Sairsingh.
West said: “I think we have a strong chance in bring home medals in all events and better our results than last time.”
A much decorated squash player, West has been hampered by injury in recent years but feels fit enough now to grab more glory.
“I am injury free at the minute – knock on wood – and trying to regain some squash fitness,” she said.
“I did retire from individual squash competition last year, but always said I would consider playing doubles as whilst still physical, it isn’t as demanding on the body as individual matches.
“I will be playing the mixed doubles and women’s doubles event and will also help out on the team event.
“I am also playing as a bit of a strategy in that the better we do at these Games the more motivated the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee and sponsors will be willing to financially aid the senior and junior teams in the future.
“We would like to thank all the companies that have stepped up and offered their support in donating prizes for our raffle. They include Kirk Freeport, Cayman Charter, Don Foster’s Dive, Westin Resort, Dolphin Cove, World Gym, King’s Gym, Edible Creations, Brassiere Market and Body Works.”
The squash team has organised a fundraiser to help pay for flights and other travel expenses, a five person by one mile relay running event in Camana Bay on Wednesday, 26 June. The first leg runs off at 6.15pm. Entry fee is $100 per five-member team.