After almost 19 years as president of Cayman Rugby Football Union, Derek Haines has stepped down from the position, citing family, work and charitable commitments as reasons for his decision.
“My son’s wife just had my first grandchild, so we went over there in the UK. Also, my daughter is pregnant in Australia, so I’ll be going over there for a few weeks,” he said.
“I realised from a personal point of view, for various reasons, for instance last year I did a long walk on the Pyrenees to raise money for special needs, so I was away for several weeks there. While I was walking on the Pyrenees, I thought to myself, you can’t be the head of a company and not be there,” said Haines, who runs Haines Disaster Consultancy.
Wolfhounds head coach Mick Kehoe will be taking over the reins as CRFU president.
“[Kehoe] was proposed and I seconded him and he was voted in unanimously, so that was great,” Haines said. “He’s a great rugby club man. He’s been extremely busy with Cayman Rugby, and I couldn’t have left it in better hands.” Though no longer president, Haines will still maintain ties with the CRFU on the developmental side and as one of the union’s trustees. He said he will assist where he can in helping the sport evolve in Cayman. When he first came to Cayman, “junior rugby was very small, and it was generally expats playing,” Haines recalled. “Over the years, we’ve had several coaches come in who have been very supportive in the junior programme.”
Union coaches go into the schools to teach the sport to young people, he explained, adding, “At all levels, if you go down [to the South Sound Rugby Ground] on a Saturday morning, the fields are full of youngsters. Attracting youngsters is always a good thing because it gets them off the streets. We’re also doing a lot of work with some of the females,” he said, “especially in building up the under-16 and under-19 players.”