Footballers team up with Blue Iguana

| 16/12/2009

(CNS):  A UK football club has officially sponsored one of the Cayman Islands Blue Iguanas.  Portsmouth Football Club is known both as “The Blues” and “Pompey”, and in honour of their new alliance, the five-foot female blue has been renamed "Pompey". The sponsorship came about following a recent visit to Cayman by the club’s director of operations, Lucius Peart, who was completely taken by her story. Pompey was rescued from the roadside and found to be one of only a handfull of Blue Iguana’s on Grand Cayman that had survived in the wild and is now adding her genes to boost the limited pool at the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme.   

To celebrate the partnership of one of the most imperilled creatures on the planet and Portsmouth Football Club, Shane Aquârt, the man behind Dready art and whose work was admired by Peart, was commissioned by the club to design a new range of merchandising, which will be available to fans in the UK

The naming of Pompey the Blue Iguana took place in Portsmouth at a Caribbean-themed Children’s Christmas Party held for local youngsters by the club on Monday, 7 December, at Fratton Park. First team players including Linvoy Primus, who announced his retirement at the event, and Aaron Mokoena, who co-hosted the party and joined in the games with 60 children from PFC’s Study Centre, all wearing Dready-Portsmouth T-shirts. Aquârt represented the Cayman Islands at the Children’s Christmas Party, along with the Department of Tourism, who co-funded the event. 

Don McDougall, DoT’s Regional Manager in Europe, explained how the relationship came about: “Shane’s work was admired by PFC’s head of operations, Lucius Peart, on his last visit to Cayman, and he hit on the idea of using it as a really unusual and striking way of appealing to the Blue Army, which has a very cross cultural and cosmopolitan fan base. As always, DoT is delighted to promote Cayman’s local talent internationally and we are in the early stages of discussion around some very exciting opportunities that Dreadyworld’s association with PFC can offer the Cayman Islands in the UK market,” he said.

Pompey’s story defies all odds, being one of the only Blue Iguanas to have been found in the wild for many years. Origins unknown, she was rescued from certain death on a roadside in East End and was taken into care by the breeding programme. As “Pompey” she will be a popular attraction for anyone visiting the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

In Portsmouth, she will now form the basis of an education programme for school children, part of a cross cultural swap between the Cayman Islands and PFC, which is located on the UK’s only island city. It is built on Portsea Island, the seventh most densely populated island in the world.

As DoT embarks on a new relationship with the UK club, the Department of Tourism is asking all “Pompey” fans based in the Cayman Islands to make themselves known. Don McDougall says, “If you are a Pompey fan, please email and please help us by spreading the word to friends and relatives whom you also know to be Pompey fans.”

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