Minister urges local support for CARIFTA

| 01/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Sports News, CARIFTA games(CNS): The sports minister has called on the community to get out and support the country’s athletes this weekend at the CAFIFTA games. Mark Scotland, visited the athletes as they made final preparations at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex this week and met with some of the young sports men and women who are flying the flag for team Cayman at the games which are being held here for the first time in 15 years. The games will take place between 3 and 5 April, when some of the region’s most promising athlete will show case their talents.

“CARIFTA is arguably the most important regional junior athletic championships. Moreover, this year’s event has special significance, as these games will serve as a qualifying meet for the inaugural World Youth Olympics to be held in Singapore this August. So our team needs us in the stands to cheer them on,” Scotland said.

The Cayman CARIFTA 2010 team comprises 27 athletes in two age groups, U17 and U20. With a range of talents, the athletes will represent the Islands in the high jump, long jump, shot put, discuss and javelin throw, sprint and long-distance events. Cayman has also entered three relay teams (U17 Girls, U17 and U20 Boys).

Although one of the smaller competitor countries, the Cayman Islands has won over 60 CARIFTA medals to date, bringing home CARIFTA honours every year since 2000. These include two gold medals won by Kareem Streete-Thompson with record-setting performances in the long jump (7.83m in 1989 and 7.95m in 1990).

“We have high hopes for our athletes medalling again this year. They have worked hard, and they certainly have the talent. In addition, they have the benefit of a home crowd to support their pursuits. And we should not miss this opportunity” the minster urged. For more information on the event go to

Meanwhile 2010 CARIFTA athlete’s representing Cayman Brac, Andrew Frederick (16) and 13-year-old Jonathon Frederick (both missing from the photo of CARIFTA athletes below), attended an assembly at the West End Primary School on Friday 26 March accompanied by their coach and Government officials to speak with students about the importance of pursuing sports.

Andrew Frederick, who is competing in his second CARIFTA Games, narrowly missed a medal in the shot put at last year’s games in St Lucia, finishing fourth. He appears stronger this year and his throws have improved making him one of Cayman’s hopeful medalists at the upcoming Games.

Jonathon Frederick has worked exceptionally hard trying to master his skills in the discus. The two athletes are also cousins and both attend Cayman Brac High School.

Andrew told the students that he was glad that his mother and coach continued to push him and encourage him to be his best. He also said that he has learnt how to be disciplined in his personal and academic life through the skills he has learnt in sports.

Jonathon shared with the students that making a commitment to sports did mean he had to work hard and dedicate a lot of time to training, but said that he maintains a balanced life as a teen. He said that he has learnt how to manage his time better especially academically, and views sports as an opportunity for him on many levels.

“Both athletes have shown great dedication, determination and have worked hard to accomplish this milestone,” said Brac Coach Flynn Bush. 

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