Brac all set to host football tournament

CBFC players Thomas Jackson and Michael Martin, in white and blue

The Brac Cup Invitational Men’s Football Tournament is returning to Cayman Brac after a 12-year hiatus.

In the two-day knockout tournament, from Aug. 26 to 28 at the Cayman Brac Sports Complex, the Cayman Brac Football Club, the CI Under-20 National Team and a team from Johnson & Wales University will compete for the trophy.

Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Kingston, Jamaica’s Harbour View FC, will also be attending. A press release notes that the CBFC hopes to reach an agreement with Harbour View FC that will enable footballers in Cayman to benefit from annual trials and provide coaching exchanges and other development opportunities at the club level.

“Over the past year, Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell and I have been discussing the possibility of hosting an invitational tournament in Cayman Brac to take advantage of the natural linkages that already exist on many levels,” said sports instructor Harold “Mitchum” Sandford.

“For example, the CBFC Men’s team has consistently had over a dozen young men between the ages of 14 and 24 on the team and has successfully aided several teenage footballers from Cayman Brac with training opportunities at universities in the USA. Bringing universities from the USA to Cayman Brac to play in local tournaments, on local soil, goes a step further, and gives more of our young players the chance to gain experience playing against international teams.”

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James Christian, 17, of CBFC practices his moves.
James Christian, 17, of CBFC practices his moves.

Minister Kirkconnell added that outside of sun, sea and sand, sports tourism is a significant driver of visitor travel and offers the flexibility of being timed to take place during the slower or off-peak season.

“Sports tourism has the potential to boost the Cayman Brac economy and government has been working hard to methodically put the pieces in place to attract and underpin sports tourism opportunities,” said Mr. Kirkconnell.

“The upgrades at the sports complex provide a safe and modern environment for players and fans and allow the sports program to be confidently expanded to meet international standards. Additionally, the introduction of direct international flights and the increase in seats already available through Cayman Airways collectively places us in a better position to market Cayman Brac as an ideal location for smaller tournaments.”

In conjunction with the visit by the Johnson & Wales team, the university’s dean of admissions and admissions officer will be hosted in September at Layman Scott High School. They will conduct presentations with students, faculty, parents and guardians, and will also hold one-on-one sessions with interested students.

Looking to the future, Mr. Sandford says the Brac Cup is poised to again become an annual event.

“CBFC has made friends with more than two dozen universities in the USA, and the plan is to invite them all take part in the Brac Cup over the next few years. As the tournament grows, we hope to invite several scouts, coaches, and admissions officers from other schools and academies to come and watch the Brac Cup and hopefully recruit.”

The next Invitational football tournament planned for Cayman Brac will be the Junior Brac Cup Invitational in June 2017. Harbour View FC of Jamaica and Arsenal FC of Honduras have already confirmed their participation.

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