The YMCA of the Cayman Islands and Cayman Islands Little League have formed a partnership to expand academic and recreational support for the good of the community.

Two of the largest providers of youth programs in Cayman have agreed to take their collaborative relationship to a new level. Working alongside the committed volunteers of the Little League Association, the YMCA will now provide support for administration and general management to enhance programs at the Field of Dreams.

For the past four years, the YMCA has been leasing Little League facilities to offer day camp and teen programs during summer months and on holidays.

Under the new arrangement, the Little League will allow the YMCA to build facilities on undeveloped land behind the baseball fields to offer additional activities for youth and families.

In return, the YMCA has committed to making extensive facility improvements at the Field of Dreams.

One significant element of the new agreement is a field replacement project, which is estimated to cost around $1 million. The Little League will work with the YMCA to raise the necessary funds and oversee the replacement within the next two years as part of a comprehensive plan for capital development on the property.

Initial YMCA concepts for the undeveloped land include indoor academic support and recreational facilities that will accommodate all ages. Additional amenities under consideration are a splash park, playground, exercise area and pavilion, which will complement a brand-new ropes course that was made possible through the 2017 DG’s 5K Challenge.

For over 25 years, the Little League program has made a substantial impact on many of Cayman’s youth, relying almost solely on volunteers to operate. With the addition of professional YMCA staff to support administrative functions and facility operations, Cayman Islands Little League leaders expect to grow participation and improve the baseball and softball programs in Cayman.

“The Cayman Islands Little League and YMCA have found synergy in our mission and purpose for serving the community, primarily in the area of engaging youth in constructive and healthy activity that teaches positive values such as sportsmanship, respect and responsibility,” said YMCA Cayman’s CEO, Greg Smith. “The YMCA leadership is excited for this opportunity to further collaborate in a unique and special partnership, united in our commitment to strengthening the community.”

Little League Chairman Erwin Freeland said, “The Little League has great potential, and we are delighted to partner with the YMCA as we continue to work toward fully realising our goals of serving the community and helping our youth develop. This partnership makes great sense.

“We’re as committed as ever to see our programme and facilities grow into something that is revered in our community and abroad. I’m elated to expand our partnership with a proven entity such as the YMCA that will ensure we realise our dreams and goals, collectively. It’s like hitting a ‘Grand Slam.’”

The YMCA celebrated its fifth anniversary of service in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Islands Little League was officially established in 1990.

JC Calhoun, founder of the Little League and member of the current YMCA Board, is excited about the new alliance.

“This pooling of resources will have a greater impact on our society. In years to come, I believe this partnership will be looked upon as a milestone in the history of Cayman charities,” Mr. Calhoun said.

“We cannot hope to solve our social problems without getting in the trenches and fighting to renew the values which made our country great in the first place. The renewal of values such as honesty, caring, respect, responsibility, and faith are the very foundations of the existing programmes and all that will evolve from the new relationship between Cayman’s YMCA and the Cayman Little League.”

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