Archive for April 7th, 2014

CAL to greet Games baton with water salute

| 07/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Commonwealth Games baton will be arriving in Cayman Friday from Jamaica to a specially organised water cannon tribute from Cayman Airways. The baton is making its way around the Commonwealth countries of the world competing in the games which will be held in Glasgow in July. Part of the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations the baton contains the Queen’s message to the athletes and while in Cayman it will be carried around the island in a multi-sport relay.  The relay is the curtain-raiser to the Games and Cayman is sending its largest team to date to the 2014 games with athletes competing in Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Shooting, Squash and Swimming.  

Aside from the watery greeting Secretary General of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) Carson Ebanks, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Cydonie Mothersille, and Glasgow 2014 Chef de Mission for the Cayman Team Jennifer Powell will be ready to receive the baton before it starts is all island relay.

The baton will make its way to each district in Grand Cayman, with the first leg of the relay beginning with Her Excellency the Governor at her residence.  She will pass the Baton on Seven Mile Beach to CIOC President Donald McLean to begin the relay through the district of West Bay.  It will make its way across the North Sound, with a short stop at Stingray City before traveling through North Side, followed by East End and Bodden Town and finally making its way into the capital of George Town. 

Throughout its journey the baton will travel by Jet Ski, foot, cycle, sail boat, and horse, just to name a few.  It will stop at numerous historical locations such as the Turtle Farm, the Wreck of the Ten Sails and the National Museum and be carried by an impressive list of prominent Caymanians, young and old.

The CIOC is extremely pleased to announce that elite athletes Cydonie Mothersille, Ronald Forbes and Brett Fraser will all be on island to participate in the relay among numerous Caymanian athletes of all abilities. 

As the first Gold Medalist for the Cayman Islands, competing in the 200m at the last edition of the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi 2010, Mothersille will carry the Baton for the final leg of the relay, arriving at Heroes Square for a short cultural reception open to the public between 4:00pm and 6:00pm at Celebration Park next to the Court House where everyone has the opportunity to see the baton and meet Caymans top athletes.  There will be live music provided by Swanky Kitchen Band and a short quadrille performance by George Town Primary. 

On Monday, April 14th, the baton will make its way to the sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman before its departure the follow morning to the Turks and Caicos islands.

The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games and will be held from July 23rd to August 3rd.  It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show.  The first Queen’s Baton Relay was staged for the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff and has been made a tradition ever since.  For the first time in history, the relay will be covered by the BBC across its entire journey.

For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay and how you can be a part of it, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games or the Cayman Islands National Team, please contact the CIOC at:
Email: cioc@candw.ky Website: www.caymanolympic.org.ky
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CaymanIslandsOlympicCommittee.

Visit the official page for the Queen’s Baton Relay to follow its journey:
https://www.glasgow2014.com/queens-baton-relay
 

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Ladies lead line up for international track meet

| 07/04/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, who will be running the 100m is one of a number of female track stars that will be lining up to take part in this year’s Cayman Invitational athletics track meet next month.  Campbell-Brown a seven-time Olympic medallist and nine-time World Champion medalist will be joined by Gold medal Olympians Allyson Felix of the United States and Dawn Harper , while 100m sprinter Murielle Ahoure from the Ivory Coast will also be hitting the track for the 100m and Dalila Mohamed will be competing in the hurdles.The male stars include 100m sprinter Kim Collins from St. Kitts & Nevis and Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment is also returning to Cayman to compete in the 110m hurdlers.

Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills, will also return to compete at what will be the third invitaitonal Cayman Invitational. Williams-Mills is a breast cancer survivor, who managed to help Jamaica win a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games 4 X 400m relay despite the detection of the disease just before the Games.

The event will be held on Wednesday 7 May, 2014 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex and meet director Cayman’s own world class athletics star and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens was delighted to welcome the athletes.  “These athletes are currently competing at the highest level and we are thrilled that they view Cayman Invitational as such an important event in the international athletics season and are therefore willing to compete here in the Cayman Islands,” she said at a press briefing last week announcing this year’s meet.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 9, and can be purchased from LIME in the Galleria Plaza, Funky Tangs on Shedden Road and JN Money located on Eastern Avenue, George Town. Ticket prices vary depending on your location: $40 for the finish line, $35 for the Grandstand and $25 for the Mackie Stadium.

For more information please visit www.caymanislandsinviatational.com

 

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Sports group aims to identify local talent

| 07/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS:) The committee of public and private sector members that helped to develop the National Policy and Strategic Plan last year is now working with the sports minister to implement that strategy. The Strategic Sports Advisory Group (SSAG) will be looking at the number of coaches and volunteers needed to facilitate the plan and improve the sports curriculum in local schools.  It also aims to develop criteria to recognize talented athletes and sport ambassadors for transition to national programmes or elite athlete status and education opportunities through sports.

The National Sports Policy and Strategic Plan was developed on the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) principles. It is expected that this approach to sports development will yield the greatest range of the benefits which sport can bring to the Cayman Islands including sports tourism opportunities, officials said in a release.

Among the other expected benefits of this approach in the medium to long term, is a healthier country with stronger communities, filled with national pride and community spirit.  The group has therefore identified its first step as assisting National Sporting Associations to develop long-term plans for their individual sport based on the LTAD principles.

Committee members include the sports minister, Osbourne Bodden, the ministry’s councellor Alva Suckoo, chief officer from the sports ministry, jennifer ahearn, director of sports Collin Anglin, senior policy advisor for sports Joel Francis, chief officer of the ministry responsible for district administration and tourism Stran Bodden, Clive Baker from education, Bruce Blake from the Cayman Islands Football Association, Cayman rugby’s Derek Haines Andrew Moon from the local sailing club, president of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, Donald Mclean Richard Hew from the private sector, Jim Fraser as the parent of an elite athlete, and former national athletes Lee Ramoon and Cydonie Mothersill.

Formore information or to get a copy of the National Sports Policy and Strategic Plan, visit www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky.

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European football body to work with Caribbean

| 07/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for mutual co-operation towards the development of the game, officials said this weekend.  The deal was signed in the Cayman Islands between the CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb and the UEFA president Michel Platini, to reinforce a mutual commitment to development in the Caribbean region, while providing for administrative and operational cooperation between the two confederations.

“The agreement is a framework to provide CONCACAF with technical assistance and support, while fostering cooperation and dialogue for the purpose of building a strong legacy with sporting, social, cultural and educational benefits,” officials said in a release after the agreement was signed at the Ritz..

"This is another important step as part of CONCACAF's new vision of integration, which aims at gathering the best know-how from each global football community to be able to customize it for the good of the development of our game," said Webb.

Platini, in his first visit to the Caribbean said, “It is the duty of us who are in the daily business of the game to join forces for the development of global football."

After his brief stop in the Cayman Islands, Platini will continue to tour the region with official visits to Grenada, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda.

The MoU – similar in nature to that signed between CONCACAF and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in April 2013 – comes as the fruit of long dialogue between the two Confederations, the football bodies stated
 

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Cayman ready to tackle insect spread disease

| 07/04/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS):The World Health Organization is focusing on the problem of diseases carried and spread mostly by insects and pests to mark this year’s World Health Day. Cayman's health minister said officials here are doing all they can to keep Cayman free of these types of diseases but with the recent reports of Chikungunya virus and growth in Denge  in our region the public health department also stood ready to tackle the issue should our defences break down. Although the Aedes aegypti mosquito,responsible for the transmission of the Chikungunya virus, dengue and yellow fever among other illnesses, is present in the Cayman Islands, they are still not endemic.

Prior to 2004, it was rare for Aedes aegypti to breed locally. After the passing of Hurricane Ivan however, breeding became established and widespread, until it was brought under control by the Mosquito Research Control unit (MRCU). But with climate change dengue has become the fastest growing vector-borne disease around the world AND Cayman is by no means immune, having seen several cases oflocal transmission as well as imported cases.
Osbourne Bodden said in a world health day message that he was committed to supporting the wide variety of disease prevention measures implemented by the MRCU, public health and environmental health

“These agencies aim to continuously improve integrated surveillance of vectors and to take measures to prevent their proliferation,” he said. “We are also steadfast in our promise to strengthen the capacity of our Public Health Department to respond to actual and emerging threats.  Our Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Team is a multi-sectoral group led by the Public Health Department, which stands ready, with plans in place in the event of an outbreak.”

Nevertheless Bodden urged the public to help prevent the spread of disease by unblocking gutters and drains, disposing of garbage, old tyres and anything that holds water, frequently changing water in animal bowls, potted plants or ornaments, and avoiding mosquito bites.
See full message from the health minister below

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Rivers seeks cash for petition

| 07/04/2014 | 111 Comments

(CNS): Although costs were not awarded against John Hewitt, who filed a challenge to Tara Rivers’ election to office last year, the education minister is now going after her constituent for the money. Rivers’ lawyers are seeking a hearing before the chief justice to ask for the legal costs in the successful defence of the election petition, which was heard last summer. Hewitt’s legal team, however, is resisting the attempt to seek the hearing as they say that the case is closed and the chief justice has already made plain that the matter had been of significant public interest and he would not condemn Hewitt to pay for the defence costs as well as his own.

Despite this ruling, Rivers attorneys have been seeking to list a hearing so they can make a claim for what is likely to be a substantial sum. But Hewitt, who is represented by Steve McField, has filed a formal objection, pointing out that the chief justice made no order for costs, that the petition is closed and Rivers duly elected, with the matter now “functus officio”, meaning it cannot be re-opened before the same court.

Hewitt had filed the election petition against Rivers when she was elected to office in West Bay at the May 2013 general election, breaking the UDP’s stronghold in the district. Rivers had run on the Coalition for Cayman platform but she then joined the PPM government, if not the party, as education minister. Hewitt’s wife, Velma Hewitt, ran on the UDP ticket and came in fifth behind Bernie Bush, who took the last seat in the district.

Rivers ran for office while holding and using an American passport and made no move to relinquish her citizenship. She had also lived outside of the Cayman Islands for a significant part of the seven year period prior to an election, raising questions about her qualification on grounds of residency.

However, following a three day hearing in the Grand Court before Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, Rivers, who was represented by local firm Hampson and Company with constitutional expert, Jeffrey Jowell, QC, as lead counsel, successfully argued that having a US passport didn’t mean she had allegiance to another country and that she was studying when she worked at a London law firm.

The question of MLAs holding passports from the United States and other countries has long been an issue surrounding elections, as many people hold more than one passport in Cayman because they were born overseas due to the previous limits of the local maternity provision. Rivers admitted to having a US passport because she too was born there, and although she said she regularly used that passport, it did not mean she had any allegiance to the United States government as it was nothing more than a document to allow passage.

With a certain ambiguity in the law’s exceptions regarding citizenship from other countries, the chief justice found in her favour, settling the question once and for all and removing the need, going forward, for would-be politicians to revoke any other citizenship they may have in addition to their Cayman ethnicity before running for office.

Hewitt also challenged Rivers on the grounds that she was in the UK for several years in the seven year period prior to the 2013 May General Election working as an a associate at a London law firm. Rivers admitted that she was employed by the firm but claimed she was still resident in Cayman and was able to be resident in two places and that the job amounted to professional training at what was essentially the equivalent of an educational establishment.

As a result, she was also able to argue that she did not fall foul of the residency requirement in the election law, which the chief justice in his ruling also agreed.

The country’s top judge had, however, expressly noted that the challenge had been of particular public interest covering matters that needed to be settled. The CJ made a point of indicating he would not award costs of the defence against Hewitt.

The parties are expected to appear before the courts in the next few months to argue whether or not the Grand Court has jurisdiction to hear an argument for costs.

The issue of costs in such cases remains contentious.

The challenge was considered a public interest case and if petitioners who are making legitimate challenges where there are genuine questions of law to be argued are to be handed huge legal bills for the other side as well as their own costs, it could deter members of the public from standing up to potential injustices or wrongdoing as a result of financial constraints.

In this case, Rivers was found to be duly elected and fully qualified. However, prior to the judge’s finding, this was by no means a foregone conclusion. As well as securing Rivers’ seat, the chief justice’s ruling is a significant precedent going forward regarding long standing questions about how far the legislature wanted to go on the qualifications of the country’s representatives.

See the CJ's full ruling in the case below.

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Ocean relay to raise cash for CARIFTA swimmers

| 07/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The first Open Water Relay to take place in the Cayman Islands will make its debut on Seven Mile Beach this weekend to raise cash for the local junior swimming team heading to this year’s CARIFTA games, in Aruba later this month. The 34 member strong team (28 swimmers, 3 coaches, 2 managers and a physio) have just two weeks left to complete their fundraising efforts so there is a lot riding on the inaugural event which will include an 12-Under Swimmers 4x500m relay and a 13-Over swimmers a 4x800m relay.

Registration takes place from 2:00-2:45pm at Governor’s Beach 11 April and the race begins at 3:00pm. The cut off time for completion will be 1-1/2 hours.

Every relay team must consist of 4 swimmers. The cost to register a team is $40 per team, or $15 to register as an individual to be placed on a team. Swimmers do not need to be CIASA members to take part. The course will be triangular with each leg of the relay starting and finishing on land. Billed as a fun for all event all swimmers are urged to come out and take part. Proceeds will go to the 2014 Cayman Islands National Junior Swim Team for their trip to CARIFTA in Aruba.

Registration forms and waivers are available on the day, at registration or you can visit CaymanActive to download the registration form in advance at http://www.caymanactive.com/swimming/open-water-swim-relay .

If you would like to make a donation contact the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association at ciasaboard@gmail.com

 

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Rider gets top score in regional dressage contest

| 07/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CIEF): In the first week of March Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation riders had the opportunity to ride in a National Dressage Show before an overseas foreign judge appointed by the Federation Equestre Internationale, the horse world’s global governing body. Cayman is defending its title in the regional contest and Meegan Slattery (left) clocked an outstanding score of 76.875% on her horse Max which should go some way to help the local riders retain the trophy. The Judge, Anders Sucksdorff of Finland, was in Cayman to judge the prestigious World Dressage Challenge and agreed in addition, to judge local riders in various tests.

Riders enter a test appropriate to their stage of riding and the breadth of tests on offer is enormous.

The younger children beginning on their ‘dressage journey’ entered the USDF ‘B’ and ‘C’ tests which develop a rider’s  ability to guide their horse in the walk, trot and canter gaits. In the ‘B’ test, Meegan Slattery continued her winning streak with an amazing score of 76.875% on Max.

This was an unusually high score for this Test. The CIEF Board of Directors subsequently awarded Slattery a special High Point Award to mark her success in this test. Second was Eva Muspratt with 70.625%, making her debut on her recently imported pony, Oscar. Third was Leah Alberga on Twinkle with 64% and fourth was Jenna Boucher on Katrina with 60%.

Slattery also took first place in the ‘C’ test on Max with 64.75% with Muspratt and Oscar in second with 63%.

Regina Nowack and Leonora took first in the USEF First Level Test 3 with 64.677%. In the USEF Training Level Test 3 open class, Tracey Surrey and SonRise David took first with 68% and Ashley van den Bol and EWSZ Carmella took second with 63.2%.

Experienced dressage rider, Thea Millward, rode Kartouche in the Medium Test and scored 63.438%, taking first place. Millward is too young to ride this class in the FEI’s World Dressage Challenge as it is normally a test reserved for adults due to its difficulty.

Millward’s skills are certainly up for the task though, and there will be no stopping her next year when she turns 15 and will be able to enter the class as an ‘adult’.

It is hoped the rules of the FEI WDC will be changed to allow talented young riders, like Millward, to enter the WDC at these advanced levels. It is a testament to the equestrian talent developing on island that junior riders like Millward are now beyond the skill level anticipated even at international level.

The next dressage competition, the Caribbean Equestrian Association’s Dressage Competition, takes place on 1st June. Riders in Cayman are judged against their Caribbean counterparts in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda. As this was a competition Cayman won last year, CIEF riders will be fiercely defending their title this year in the hope of bringing home the silverware once more.

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