The Cayman Islands government will honor 285 people for their contributions to sports in the islands on National Heroes Day, Monday, Jan. 22.
Categories of awards that will be issued at the ceremony at Heroes Square include “Early Pioneer,” “Pioneer,” “Emerging Pioneer,” “Long Service Award” and “Memorial Scroll.”
Early Pioneers refer to individuals, alive or dead, who made significant contributions to the early development and/or delivery of sports in the Cayman Islands before 1960; Pioneers are individuals, alive or dead, who has made significant contributions to sports between 1960 and 2006 and Emerging Pioneers are those who have made significant contributions to sports from 2007 to present.
Long Service Awards are for living individuals who may not have been leaders, but long serving in the sports community, who have contributed for 10 years or more; while Memorial Scrolls will be presented to families of deceased individuals who were leaders or notable contributors to the development and/or delivery of sports.
Each Early Pioneer, Pioneer and Emerging Pioneer will be awarded a commemorative specially designed pin, made from metal and enamel.
The pin, designed by Kara Coe of the Government Information Service, incorporates “significant features to represent sports in the Cayman Islands,” according to a GIS press release.
The design includes a flaming torch – a symbol universally associated with the Olympic Games and with sports in general – and a wreath, which was an ancient prize for the winners of sporting competitions.
It also features a ribbon “to represent the finishing line at a sports competition,” the release states, as well as a thatched rope twisted around the edges, to represent Cayman’s national tree, the silver thatch palm, symbolizing the importance of rope-making to the economy of the Cayman Islands’ earlier days.
At the center of the design is the Cayman Islands crest, identifying the insignia as a national honor.
The awards ceremony will be followed by a sports exhibition in the Town Hall in George Town and there will also be local food and live entertainment. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m. and is free to attend. Organizers advise attendees to be seated by 8:30 a.m.