Importance of sports emphasized at camp

Terrell Brathwaite has been a regular at the Bodden Town camp.

For the past two decades, a regular feature of the summer break for youngsters in Bodden Town has been the football camp run by Coach Elbert McLean.

This year was no different, as the Cayman Islands Department of Sports summer camp series made its usual stop at the Haig Bodden Playing Field with as many as 60 young footballers turning up each day for a week.

“It’s very satisfying for me to see that we still have the support from government – the Department of Sports – and the general public in Bodden Town to run this for 20 years. Without that, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” McLean said.

On the final morning of the camp on 4 August, two special guests from the district stopped by: Cabinet Minister and Bodden Town East MLA Dwayne Seymour, as well as Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo.

“I’m elated that this camp remains. I’m very grateful to this gentleman here [McLean]…to continue the good works,” said Seymour, who is also the vice president of Bodden Town Football Club, which McLean coaches.

Suckoo praised the organisers for continuing to host the camp as he addressed the youngsters. “It keeps you involved in something positive…I’m really proud of you for coming out here,” he said.

“You are all stars,” Suckoo told the boys and girls at the camp. “You are doing something positive; you are working together, building teamwork and that’s what I like to see. I like to see our young people doing constructive things.”

Cabinet Minister Dwayne Seymour (right) with Coach Elbert McLean.

Meantime, Seymour recalled the importance of the sport on his life as a youth. “If I didn’t have football, I might have gotten into some other trouble…I couldn’t live without football,” he said, as he urged the youngsters to strike a balance between their school work and sorts.

The former player encouraged them to always find time to practice, even if it is kicking the ball against a wall when they get home.

Among the young players, who has come to the camp for multiple years is 11-year-old Terrell Brathwaite. “Football is fun because I get to play with the team,” he said, adding that he enjoyed doing the various drills.

Players like Brathwaite have moved on to play regularly under Coach Elbert with Bodden Town Football Club.

“Most of my Under-13 players are here at the camp with me and I also identify some new ones. That’s how important the camp is to Bodden Town Football Club,” McLean said.

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