(CMR) With the help of several corporate and other community sponsors, Academy Sports Club was able to include a Girls U17 football team to compete at the recent Target USA Cup tournament in Minnesota.
The local football club started its girls' program only seven years ago and has been growing its girls' teams over the years.
“Several new recruits recently joined the program from John Gray High School, which gave our numbers a huge boost,” said Academy's Technical Director, Virgil Seymour.
Seymour explained that when Academy's volunteer coach and Head of Youth Development Paul Byles first met with the young ladies, he told them that if they worked really hard, the club would work equally hard to ensure they got an opportunity to compete at the international level.
The girls performed well during the season, and the club kept its promise. That promise was kept partly due to the tremendous support of several individuals and companies within the local community. Grant Thornton was among them.
“We are thrilled to support the Academy Sports Club Girls U17 team on their journey to the USA Cup in Blaine, Minnesota. Their program is inclusive and promotes integration within our community,” said Dara Keogh, Managing Partner at Grant Thornton Cayman Islands.
The club also received support for both boys and girls from numerous other good corporate citizens, including DMS, the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Sports.
“It has become much more difficult receiving support for local sports over the past few years, and given the positive impact on young people, it's really encouraging to see these organizations and individuals stepping up to help,” said Byles.
“Academy is much more than a football program. Ask the teachers within the schools and some social workers about the work our coaches do with our youth players on a daily basis,” he added.
Six teams from Academy Sports Club competed at this year's Target USA Cup, the largest youth football tournament in North America. Over 1,200 youth teams from all over the world competed at the National Sports Center's 860-acre campus in Minnesota.
Seymour says the club appreciates the support they received to make the trip a success.
“It took a lot of effort to make it happen this year, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who stepped up to help make it happen, especially for the girls' team,” he said.