Kurt Hyde is the new Cayman Islands director of sports. Photo: Seaford Russell Jr

Kurt Hyde has been named director of sports after serving in an acting role since the end of 2019 when the previous head, Collin Anglin, retired.

The position had been open for applications until the decision was taken in January to make Hyde’s position permanent.

“I acted in the position for a year, but as you know last year, we were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic so everything kind of halted for the majority of the year. Therefore, the recruitment process didn’t take place until later on in… 2020,” Hyde told the Cayman Compass. “We went through the process, and I was successful.”

Hyde was hired at around the same time Anglin decided to hang it up. He says his time spent in the acting role helped him develop relationships within the department.

“It was valuable because I got to learn the workers of the department, what our strengths are and the shortcomings that we face,” said Hyde. “So, what we’re focussing on is recruiting for the department because we do have quite a bit of vacancies. We want to get the team up to full numbers with competent people, with the right skill sets, so we can deliver the best sports programmes for our kids in the wider community.”

Hyde says he hopes to make several enhancements to sports facilities – stadiums, fields, courts and gyms.

“Some of our vision for the near future is upgrading our facilities,” said Hyde, noting the venues have “been around for a while, so they all need some good refurbishments”.

In addition, he cited the need for more purpose-built facilities that will cater to specific sports.

Investing in enhancing and building sporting facilities will ultimately benefit the country financially, he said.

“We really want to focus on sports tourism for the island because we think that that can help boost our economy greatly, so… everything ties in,” said Hyde. “If we have world-class facilities, we can start to host more world-class events and get people in; that is the main vision right now.”

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