The Cayman Islands are gearing up to chase sporting glory in Bermuda.
Cayman is slated to field some 84 athletes over 11 events at the NatWest Island Games taking place in Hamilton on 13-19 July. Most of the local talent will depart these shores on Thursday, 11 July.
Carl Brown serves as assistant general manager for the Cayman contingent and said Bermuda should feel familiar due to its weather.
“We’re going to familiar territory in the sense that the climate is similar to ours and in general it’s a island territory like us,” Brown said. “It’s very humid in Bermuda and there is a natural rivalry there from its proximity to us in the financial sector.
“The Cayman teams are in full form during their training and they are intending to make the medal count high for us. Cayman will do very well, as is the usual form.”
Cayman is expected to tackle some of the standard disciplines like swimming and athletics with some sports like gymnastics and windsurfing showcasing their first local representatives.
An impressive list of athletes are slated to compete for Cayman including Olympic swimming brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser, celebrated golfer Samantha Widmer, squash star Cameron Stafford and volleyball players Richard Campbell and Cristin Alexander.
A number of residents will be making the journey as supporters. Also backing up the Cayman athletes will be local Island Games chief Richard Parchment and general manager Victor Thompson. Lori Powell reportedly helped with the trip’s organization but will not travel and new Minister of Sports Osbourne Bodden may head to Bermuda to lend support.
Brown states Cayman will find Bermuda to be a country that has invested heavily in its sporting facilities for this event.
“All 24 nations in the Island Games community will be in attendance this year. Bermuda is pulling out all the stops. It’s bringing out its new 50 metre swimming pool and using two 25m pools for practice rounds. They’re going to create a beach volleyball site in Hamilton and they have beautiful indoor volleyball facilities.
“The Port Royal golf course is a world-class golf location and those in the shooting discipline will use three locations near Bermuda’s (military) regiment headquarters. To top it off, most events are within five minutes of downtown.
“On a whole, the Island Games will give Bermuda an influx in tourism figures and provide a boost for their tourism.”