Seymour wants camps for champs

Tracey Seymour loves the sporting environment so much that she is rarely seen in any other circles in her spare time.

She plays flag football and rugby and used to be an international amateur boxer.

“I truly do it for myself, for the love of the sport and sort of like my little keep in shape program,” Seymour said.

For her it’s really hard to choose her favorite, she said. “I love contact sports and all of them for the thrill. But if I must choose, I would have to say rugby. It has truly grown on me.”

An accomplished self-taught photographer as well, her mantra is experimenting and believing in yourself.

“The fact that I am able to play so many sports thrills me. It’s exciting to know you are able to do more than you think you can.”

Seymour never dreamed she would be so into sports or play this many, as she grew up as a lazy child.

“I used to hate physical education at school. You couldn’t get me to like that class to save my life. I was asthmatic and I would rather sit than do anything. Now thinking back on it, imagine if I did apply myself back then or at least tried more.”

So far, her sporting highlight was in rugby, last year at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico.

“Standing in that huge stadium with thousands of people just cheering you on was breathtaking. I wanted to cry. It was the greatest experience I’ve ever had in my life, as well as when I placed third and received a bronze medal in the Pan Am Trials for boxing.

“I may not have gotten to the Pan Am games, but to stand on a podium and be a medalist was a great feeling too.”

She also enjoys traveling and meeting other talented athletes from around the world “who I call friends today.”

Seymour still harbors ambitions of competing at the Olympics.

“I think that’s on the top of every athlete’s list. I wanted to aim for that in boxing, but to get there is really tough. So I’m aiming to get there with my rugby team and I believe we have the capability to do so and we will do so.”

Then she laughed, “Got to speak things into existence.”

Cayman’s women have a good chance of reaching the Rio Olympics next year and even if they don’t make it, Seymour hopes to still be on the roster four years later.

Her introduction to competitive sport was unconventional. She started boxing at age 18 in a nightclub, the legendary Monday night matches at the Matrix. Anyone could walk off the street and have a scrap.

An unexpected talent for the sweet science emerged and from there Seymour was invited by coach Nayon “Donie” Anglin to try it competitively.

She boxed on and off for a decade, representing Cayman in tournaments in Trinidad & Tobago, Ecuador, Panama and Florida.

Three years ago Seymour decided to try flag football with the Hot Cheetahs to enhance fitness and coordination.

The 29-year-old tour dispatcher at the cruise terminal was good at flag too, representing Cayman again two months ago in Orlando, another “great experience that I want to continue.”

Two years ago Seymour was invited by a friend to join the rugby women 7s boot camp, which immediately captivated her attention. “I’ve had the opportunity to represent Cayman once more in tournaments here when we came fourth and also in Mexico and also play in our domestic league, and have also tried out touch rugby.”

Her sporting heroes are varied and are not the typical superstars.

“I really don’t follow a lot of celebrity athletes, but if I were to have sporting heroes, I would include some of my fellow athletes here and some that I’ve met in tournaments overseas such as female boxer Franchon Crews from New York City, female kick boxer Jemyma Betrian of Holland and my younger brother James Geary and my cousin Keswick Wright as he also played multiple sports such as track and field, flag football, men’s rugby 7s and 15s.

“If there are any heroes to have in the sporting world, yeah I definitely choose them because I can relate to them. They are just like me.”

Her opinion of Cayman’s sporting scene is a mixed one. “I feel that in some sporting areas it has grown and gotten better,” she said. “But I still think the support could be a lot better. For example, when I go abroad to what are known as Third World countries, that are far poorer than us, their athletes are well taken care of. So well taken care of that many of them only have one thing to worry about and that’s just becoming the best.

“Here in Cayman it’s hard to be an athlete because you have to worry about work, paying bills and so on because you don’t really have that support. At least not every sport does. This prevents Cayman athletes getting more recognized worldwide.”

There are so many talented athletes here, but some quit before they can realize their full potential, she said, because they have to worry about school, work and bills. “You lose interest and you quit.”

She said she would like to see a program that only focuses on athletes, where they all live together, like a camp, where athletes are better monitored and not distracted by the worries of routine life.

“Where they can truly focus on their training.

“Sounds like I’m asking for too much, but let’s face it, many countries have such a setup and the ones like that produce some of the world’s best athletes.”

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