Brac athletes deserve more props

Athletes from Cayman Brac should be celebrated after excelling on the regional stage.

A pair of track stars grabbed gold and silver medals at the 2013 NatWest Island Games. Ameilia Gillispie and Jacob Scott were part of the Cayman Islands contingent in Bermuda, along with coach Mitchum Sanford. Gillispie nabbed gold in the 100 metres and 100m hurdles and silver in the 200m. Scott was fourth in the high jump.

It was Gillispie’s second Island Games, while Scott competed for the first time at that level. For coach Sanford, their performances speak volumes about the talent in Cayman Brac.

“Jacob and Ameilia are shining examples to all young Caymanians out there, showing that through hard work, sacrifice and commitment, anything can be accomplished,” Sanford said. “I am so proud of their achievements.”

To put their performances in perspective, there are several accolades the youngsters can boast about after their Bermuda showcase. Gillispie is the first Bracker to compete at the Island Games twice and win a medal. She is Cayman’s first female athlete to win three Island Games medals, medal in the 100m hurdles and in the process, become Cayman’s first female record holder in that event.

Scott is first male Bracker to compete at the Island Games and he now holds the Cayman Brac high jump record of 1.90m.

All of those facts are pleasing to Brac Deputy District Commissioner Bentley Tibbetts, who said the youngsters should be hailed for weeks to come.

“Cayman Brac is extremely proud of the stellar performances from both Ameilia and Jacob,” Tibbetts said. “Both have used their athletic talent to reach great heights and we encourage them to continue to work hard on further developing their skills.”

Boosted by those heroics, Cayman would go on to claim 46 total medals: 20 gold, 19 silver and seven bronze to finish fourth among the competing countries. Those results are a first in Cayman’s history at the Games.

Athletics played a major role, contributing 12 medals, half of which were gold. Aside from Gillispie, the other standouts were Alex Pascal, whose javelin throw of 70.66m established a new Games record, as well as the record-setting 4x100m relay team of Rhymiech Adolphus, David Hamil, Carl and Carlos Morgan.

Speaking on the performance of the Cayman team, Sanford said, “I am very satisfied with the performances of the whole Cayman team; a great group of young men and women.”

Moses Kirkconnell serves as Deputy Premier, Minister for Tourism and Minister for District Administration, under which Cayman Brac sports fall. A native Bracker, Kirkconnell was at the Games with Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden and said the performances of the Brac athletes should be celebrated well into the future.

“It was an absolute honour and privilege to be present at the Games to not only give support to all the Cayman athletes but to beam with pride watching the accomplishments of Ameilia and Jacob,” Kirkconnell said. “Winning medals and delivering personal bests is truly a testament to the sacrifice both they and their coach put into their talent.”

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