Knapiks score $5K for charity

Hockey in the Cayman Islands fought cancer in a tangible way as a tournament raised funds for a new chemotherapy unit. 

In January, the Cayman Islands Youth Roller Hockey Club hosted the third annual Cayman Hockey Fights Cancer Youth Street Hockey Tournament. The tournament at Camana Bay was designed to help grow the sport of hockey, but more importantly to raise money for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. 

Coinciding with September’s designation as Childhood Cancer Month, kids from two of the tournament’s winning teams were proud to present Cancer Society operations manager Jennifer Weber and board of directors member Scott Elliott with a check for $5,000.  

On hand for the presentation were 6-and-under winner Cayman Stars, who featured Noah Embury-Brown, Jaxon Cover, Isabelle Weber and Jaedon Cover. Eight-and-under winners Street-Tastic were also present and featured Kayden Knapik, Jackson Doak, Molly Kehoe and Alex Priestley. 

Jennifer Weber said, “The Cancer Society is grateful for all the donations we receive from the generous community in which we live. 

“When people choose to give to the Cancer Society, they are helping us help others in Cayman. Donations earmarked for special projects like a new chemotherapy unit will help us create a new state-of-the-art facility in partnership with the Health Services Authority. 

“Large-scale projects like these come with large costs, but the benefit to the community, the patients and families is priceless.” 

The $5,000 represents 50 percent of the proceeds raised and have been donated directly to the Cancer Society to assist with the construction of a new chemotherapy unit at the George Town Hospital. The other 50 percent will be injected back into youth hockey with the hopes of further developing the program and getting more and more kids participating in the sport.  

Aaron Knapik, one of the volunteer tournament organizers, is grateful for the support the event receives year after year. 

“Once again, we were very pleased that the community continues to rally behind this event and our efforts to raise funds for such a worthwhile benefactor – the Cancer Society,” Knapik said. “We are thankful for the support of our main sponsors Camana Bay, Ernst and Young and the Dart Foundation.  

“We also wish to thank our junior sponsors Mourant Ozannes, Greenlight RE, Re/Max and Willis Global Insurance. 

“Most of all, we wish to thank the kids for coming out and experiencing a fun day of hockey whilst raising funds for other kids who, due to cancer, may not yet be able to experience such a magical day.” 

With the majority of players gaining their hockey experience from Kings Youth Roller Hockey League, one component of the tournament was to have one member of each team not be in the league. This caveat was to help introduce kids to a new sport and help grow the hockey program in Cayman.  

Roller hockey is a relatively new sport to Cayman, but it has caught on quickly. There were over 150 participants in the street hockey tournament this year, and organizers hope to see even more kids out next year.  

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The Cancer Society benefited from the tournament. Back, Cancer Society representatives Jennifer Weber and Scott Elliot. Front, participants Noah Embury-Brown, Jaxon Cover, Isabelle Weber, Jaedon Cover, Kayden Knapik, Jackson Doak, Molly Kehoe and Alex Priestley.

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Aaron Knapik served as tournament organizer.

Adam-McWatt-Cayman-Islands

The competition attracted talents like Adam McWatt.

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Street hockey appealed to many local youngsters. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES
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