Cayman Islands Classic to hold Special Olympics basketball camp

The Cayman Islands Classic, in partnership with the Special Olympics Cayman Islands, will host an inaugural Special Olympics Basketball Camp in November.

Thirty-five Special Olympic athletes are expected to participate in the camp Saturday, Nov. 17 at the ARC at Camana Bay. The eight-team Cayman Islands Classic will get under way Nov. 19 at the John Gray Gymnasium.

“One of our tournament’s core objectives is to give back to the Cayman Islands community and help promote sports on the island,” said Jill Turk, chief strategy officer for the Cayman Islands Classic.

“We are proud to partner with Special Olympics and provide the opportunity for the athletes to take part in the tournament activities,” Ms. Turk added. “The opportunity to instill confidence, engage in physical activity, and inspire a sense of competition, is at the core of what Special Olympics does, and we are honored to support their objective.”

Special Olympics Cayman Islands is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, while Special Olympics International, established in 1968, celebrates 50 years.

Special Olympics Cayman Islands focuses on five core sports, athletics, basketball, bocce, football and swimming, along with other sports such as stand-up paddleboarding and golf. Currently the athletes are preparing for the World Games to be held in Abu Dhabi March 14-21, 2019.

Unified Sport is a concept that joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team, with the aim of promoting social inclusion through shared sport training and competition experiences. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

“I look forward to working with the Special Olympic athletes,” said Joe Wright, chief executive officer of Cayman Islands Classic. “It will be an afternoon of learning, but most importantly, a lot of fun. The basketball camp will provide a platform for the athletes to focus on skill development, fostering teamwork and sportsmanship.”

“Basketball is one of the core sports for our organization,” said Fareed Hosein, Head Basketball Coach for Special Olympics Cayman Islands. “Players of all ages and abilities participate in the basketball program. Our partnership with the Cayman Islands Classic tournament to create this camp will provide the athletes an opportunity to learn from coaches at a very high level and also provide a fun environment to introduce our new athletes to the game. We are looking forward to the camp and wish to thank Jill Turk, Joe Wright and Coach Victor O’Garro for this opportunity.”

Cayman Islands Classic

The Cayman Islands Classic is a yearly NCAA preseason men’s division one college basketball tournament. Eight college basketball teams visit Grand Cayman for the three-day event, playing 12 total games.

The U.S.-based Clemson, Creighton, Georgia State and St. Bonaventure squads, all of which competed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, will headline the second annual Cayman Islands Classic college basketball tournament which runs Nov. 19-21.

Akron, Boise State, Georgia and Illinois State also will play in the tournament.

People interested in supporting the Special Olympics can email Darrel Rankine at [email protected] For more information about the Special Olympics Cayman islands, visit www.specialolympics.org. For more information about the Cayman Islands Classic, visit www.caymanislandsclassic.com.

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