The importance of developing youth football in the Cayman Islands has become the sport’s priority in recent years and an annual competition ran last week reinforced how much the youngsters have improved recently.
The fourth annual West Bay Sports Foundation’s 2013 West Bay Community Cup last Monday at the Ed Bush Sports Centre, was a resounding success and well-received by the community, spectators and players alike.
Domino’s Pizza was the major sponsor of this year’s event with Island Cleaners and Puritan Cleaners as supporting sponsors.
The event, which highlights the Islands’ talented youth players, was once again dominated by Academy Sports Club, winning three of the four divisions – Under-12, U-13 and U-15.
The U-15 female division was won by Elite Sports Club. On show throughout the day were many players representing the U-13, U-15 and U-17 female national programmes.
In the U-12 division, Academy Sports Club defeated the U-12 National ‘Red’ team 1-0. In the U-13, Academy secured their second championship of the day beating Scholars International 2-0 and in the U-15, Academy made it three in a row defeating Future Sports Club 1-0 in the final. Elite grabbed the U-15 female championship with a 1-0 victory over Scholars International.
As is customary at the West Bay Community Cup, several young athletes were presented with monetary donations to help their progress in sports and education.
Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs and Joel Jefferson from Domino’s Pizza, presented the cheques on behalf of the West Bay Sports Foundation.
Athletes receiving financial assistance for training and camps included Demetri Chambers (track and field), Juawon Ebanks (basketball) and Tafari Ebanks and Kendall Ebanks (boxing).
Several youngsters received funds to assist with furthering their education overseas including Javier Medina and Jordan Ebanks(Florida International University), Jettina Ebanks (South Georgia State Community College) and Nikki Ebanks (UCCI in preparation for South Georgia State Community College).
Javier and Jordan are members of Elite Sports Club and Jettina and Nikki play with Scholars International and the Cayman Islands U-20 Women’s National Team.
To conclude the presentations, the West Bay Sports Foundation honoured Pastor Gareth Haylock with the Foundation’s “Community Spirit Award” for his commitment and dedication to the West Bay community and for his work with the youth in the district through the church.
Elite Sports Club were the beneficiaries of the gate receipts as they prepare to send players overseas to football training camps in Florida this summer.
The club sold tickets throughout the day for their raffle and also served up to some great food and refreshments.