Youths made positive choices

The ninth annual Save Our Youth Foundation Football Extravaganza and Family Fun Day proved a great event for both players and their supporters after rain caused a two-week postponement. 

Held at the T.E. McField Annex in George Town, the day comprised of matches among various age groups for boys and girls representing football clubs from throughout Grand Cayman.  

The final match was between select adult players from the Cayman Islands and Jamaica vying for the Unity Cup. 

The event, themed “Positive Choices”, was aimed at bringing as many young people as possible together for a friendly competition. More importantly, the organisers also wanted to provide a forum where they could discuss various issues affecting young people, including drugs, violence, prison and gang-related activities.  

The event was coordinated to educate Cayman’s youth about the importance of making healthy, positive decisions in their lives.  

SaxonMG joined as a major sponsor this year, as part of their ongoing commitment to the community.  

In addition, volunteers from the company were there throughout the day to help out. Brian Williams, CEO of SaxonMG, said he believes events like the Football Extravaganza can have a beneficial effect on young people. 

“The event was a great opportunity to bring home the message of making positive choices by offering our young people the chance to compete with their peers in a healthy, friendly way in the spirit of good sportsmanship,” Williams said. 

Speakers from Saxon, as well as others, were able to address the players in small groups, to stress the value of staying in school and working toward a positive goal. 

“We are always looking for ways to contribute to the well-being and growth of our society,” Williams said. “We will continue to support events like this so we can reach out to as many of our youth as possible.” 

The winning Under-17, Under-15 and Under-13 teams received trophies, presented by Eric Bush, chief officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

SOY President Iris Stoner said the enthusiasm of the young football players and the positive feedback from their coaches, family and friends who came out to support the teams, show that the event continues to be a worthwhile experience.  

“The Football Extravaganza is our signature event and one that we at SOY are committed to organising every year,” she said. “The opportunity to promote a healthy, enjoyable activity while speaking to young people about the importance of making positive choices has proven to be a winning combination.  

“We appreciate the support of all of our sponsors and are excited to welcome SaxonMG this year,” she said. “We also thank all the coaches for their contributions in making the day a success.  

“In addition, we want to recognise the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Cayman Islands Prison Service for their support leading up to and during the event. We look forward to making the Football Extravaganza even bigger and better in 2014.” Along with the football matches, Heartbeat provided the music, with performances by Neptune and LeBron, and Flo Motion. There was also a football skills competition for prizes. 

The SOY Foundation congratulated all the young people who participated in the event and considers every team a winner. 

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Elite (white) and Cayman Athletic were the two best teams.

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Elite girls champs, back from left, Samantha Klein, Shanelle Frederick, Chelsea Greene, Derricka Neysmith, Amber Mellaneo, Amanda Frederick, Nicole Whittaker and Shanice Monteith. Front, Destini Bush, Brianna Poy Fong, Natalia Coe-Moore and Joan Ebanks. Missing from photo: Chyanai Tibbetts and Chelsea Green.

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Academy U-17s champs. Back from left, Virgil Seymour (coach), Ryan Burke, Asher Francis. Sean Whewell, David Lee, Leandro Powell, Shane Ewart, Jimal Lawson, Glenn Whewell (coach). Front, Ennis Ramoon, Jamaal Seymour, Justin Rankin, Chris Theaker, Jonah Ebanks, Corey Ferguson.
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