Football outreach camps kick off

Every summer, Cayman Islands residents can expect football camps and offerings from FC International.

This year is no different as the club has a pair of camps planned to end the month. The group will be at the North Side field 19-23 August before heading to the T.E. McField Sports Centre (popularly called the Annex) in George Town on 26-30 August.

FC International President Kennedy Ebanks said the camps are part of the club’s usual focus on Cayman’s youth.

“As a club, we want to help develop good citizens of these islands,” Ebanks said. “We want to do our part to reduce crime and various headaches in the community. Football is simply our way of achieving that as people can appreciate the beautiful game. Youngsters need positive outlets during the summer to stay out of trouble.

“We are committed to exposing kids to the police, fire and emergency services and various other parts of our community that they should know and respect. There’s much to learn within football but the greatest lessons a child can learn are about life.”

Both the North Side and George Town camps cater to kids aged 4-16, are totally free and run from 9am to 1pm each day. Participants will receive a free lunch and a free T-shirt. Leading the camps is FC International technical director Elbert McLean, one of Cayman’s best coaching minds who won the local league and cup titles this past season.

FC International usually stages one-week camps across Cayman, heading out to locales like Fairbanks Prison, Lighthouse School and Cayman Brac.

The George Town offering in particular tends to be star-studded, having previously featured community figures like Olympic hero Ronald Forbes, former Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence and local musicians such as jazz player Edward ‘Eddie’ Solomon (who has a number of nicknames including Solly) and music producer Charles ‘Greg’ Gregory of Hopscotch Recording Studios.

Kennedy Ebanks said the guest speakers leave a lasting impression on participants.

“We have been blessed to have people like Ronald, Solly and Greg come and inspire the kids. Our children need more role models and they are fine examples to follow. As I’ve said before, our camp deals with more than just football and it’s all about nurturing Cayman’s youth.

“As always, I encourage parents to bring their kids to the totally free camps. I thank everyone in Cayman for making these camps possible over the years.”