Cayman National Bank has signed up as the title sponsor of the inaugural Cayman Islands Classic Special Olympics basketball camp, according to organizers.

Thirty-five Special Olympic athletes are expected to participate in the Cayman National Bank Special Olympics Basketball Camp on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the ARC at Camana Bay. The eight-team Cayman Islands Classic tournament will get under way the following Monday, Nov. 19, at the John Gray Gymnasium.

“We are thrilled that Cayman National Bank has chosen the title sponsorship of our inaugural Special Olympics basketball camp,” said Jill Turk, chief strategy officer of the Cayman Islands Classic. “They supported our tournament last year and to have them return as the title sponsor to support the Special Olympic athletes is such an honor.”

Christy Whittaker, executive Assistant and assistant marketing manager at Cayman National Bank, said, “We celebrate with the organizers on last year’s tournament success. Not only did it make a huge economic impact on our islands but it also helped stimulate and further develop sports tourism in Cayman. We are once again happy to be a part of such success and are confident this year’s event will have an even bigger impact.”

Mrs. Whittaker added, “Equally, we are proud to be the sponsor of the inaugural Cayman Islands Classic Special Olympics Basketball Camp and we commend the organizers for inviting the Special Olympics Cayman Islands athletes to participate in the tournament activities. We believe this camp will provide the athletes with exciting opportunities for physical fitness and enhancement of their skills as they work alongside skilled and experienced coaches.”

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

“Apart from the obvious positive physical effects of sport to our athletes, these camps also help with increasing their social interactions and the public’s awareness of Special Olympics’ contributions,” said Fareed Hosein, head basketball coach for Special Olympics Cayman Islands.

The inaugural Special Olympics basketball camp will be led by Caymax Sports Ltd., Cayman Islands Classic founders, CEO Joe Wright and President Victor O’Garro.

“I am truly excited to reconnect with my Special Olympic Athletes on a different platform,” said Mr. O’Garro. “I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with Special Olympics Cayman Islands and I’ve had the opportunity to work with Special Olympics Founder, the late Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver.”

Mr. O’Garro added, “The inaugural camp will be a lot of fun with an emphasis on learning. We will work with the athletes on refining basketball skills, such as shooting, offensive moves, defense, rebounding and team play. Additionally, the camp will provide a focus on skill development, fostering teamwork and sportsmanship.”

The Cayman Islands Classic has established itself as a challenging Division I Men’s early season college basketball tournament. This year’s lineup will feature teams from Creighton, Clemson, University of Georgia, St. Bonaventure, Georgia State, Akron University, Illinois State and Boise State.

Fans can purchase tickets online at www.caymanislandsclassic.com/ot/tickets.html.