Cayman assembles Veracruz team

The Cayman Islands hopes to showcase sporting talent in Mexico this week. 

The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee will be sending local athletes across seven sports to the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico. The Games run Nov. 15-30, with most of the team already in Mexico. The committee says members of the squad were present for a flag-raising ceremony on Thursday, with the opening ceremony taking place on Friday at 9 p.m. Cayman time. 

Representing Cayman are dozens of competitors and coaches. They are: 

Chef de Mission Trent Christie; Deputy Chef de Mission Janet Sairsingh; Team physiotherapist Chelsea Smith.  

Athletics: Ashleigh Nalty, Carlos Morgan, Kemar Hyman and Ronald Forbes; coach Kenrick Williams; team manager Michael Nalty. 

Beach Volleyball men’s team: Olney Thompson and Keith Higgins. 

Boxing: Tafari Ebanks and coach Norman Wilson. 

Rugby 7’s mens team: Alex Pineau, Angel Hawkins, David Terry, Edward Westin, Joel Clark, Justin Wight, Keswick Wright, Kramer Bell, Mark Soto, Paul Westin and Taylor Wight. 

Rugby 7’s womens team: Avery-Ann Rankins, Cassianne Lawrence, Chrisuanna Trowers, Ciara Henry, Jenna Richards, Jodie McTaggart, Larissa Johnson, Marline Williams, Meylys Swaby, Shenel Gall, Tracey Seymour and Yasmin James. 

Rugby 7’s coaches: Dave Clancy and Henry Warnock; team managers Graeme Thomson, Mark Wollard, and Richard Adams; team doctor Sean Teal and team physiotherapist Al Bartice. 

Squash: Alexander Frazer, Cameron Stafford, Julian Jervis, Marlene West; coach Mark Chaloner. 

Sailing: Andreas McDermot, Florence Allan, Jesse Jackson; coach Kelvin Browne; team manager John Bodden. 

Swimming: Catriona MacRae; coach Bailey Weathers; team manager Susan Weathers. 

The Olympic Committee said in a statement that the Games are a major competition and is a result of dedication from volunteers. The statement reads, “The Games are an international multi-sport event, held under the auspices of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO). The costs of hosting the event will be shared by CACSO, the host city of Veracruz and the Olympic Committee. 

“The Olympic Committee would like to congratulate and wish the best of luck to the national team representing the Cayman Islands in the upcoming weeks. The Olympic Committee thanks the countless volunteers and team officials who have assisted in their preparations and traveling to support the team, in addition to the generosity of all who have donated to the Olympic Committee to make this opportunity happen.” 

Many of the athletes listed on the squad represented Cayman this summer at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The results from that competition were mixed for each sport. The athletics contingent saw Nalty finish 11th in her high jump group with a leap of 1.71 meters; Morgan in eighth place in his long jump group with a leap of 7.41m; Forbes placed fifth in his 110m hurdles heat, posting a time of 13.89 seconds; and Hyman advanced to the semis of the 100m, placing sixth in his heat at 10.31 seconds, after winning his preliminary race in 10.20 seconds. 

Ebanks, who was coached by Wilson, reached the quarterfinals of the bantamweights (56 kilos) division, losing by unanimous decision. Stafford, Jervis and West competed in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories, with Chaloner serving as coach. Bailey Weathers was also in Glasgow, coaching Cayman’s swimmers there. 

Cameron-Stafford

Cameron Stafford, left, is one of the best squash players in the region. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES

Tafari-Ebanks

Tafari Ebanks nearly won a medal in Scotland.