LETTER TO THE EDITOR
(CMR) As a non-Caymanian, I have been involved in sports for over 30 years, and I have seen a lot of flaws with various Cayman Island sporting bodies and corporate entities. Where do I begin? For a start, I always hear that Caymanians complain about expats taking over various positions in jobs, housing, pay and positions ect.
When I look at it, I see Caymanians very passive in the face of expats, and behind closed doors, they complain bitterly. However, when you approach Caymanians and ask them to show interest or take part in anything, they will quickly tell you that they don't have the time nor are interested. The moment expats show, take part or control anything is when Caymanians complain. They complain when the deed is done but did nothing to prevent it because they don't want to stand out.
These are very strange Islands when it comes to sports and funding. From my point and interacting with Caymanians, they are just not interested in sports nor want to take part. I have asked a number of them why they don't take part in sports or consider it a career, their reply is that their parents and teachers told them there is no money in sports and a waste of time. When you look at the various sporting bodies, you will see their name is the Cayman Islands XYZ associations, but when you look deep into it, expats control that sporting body with expats making up the membership. Then you have Caymanians complaining about it. Ask them to join or get their kids involved, and they give you excuses not to.
One question is, how can you have an expat-controlled association making crucial decisions for Caymanian participation on the international level? I have seen firsthand; the operation of a certain association that told a very experience Caymanian member that he cannot attend an overseas competition as part of the management team.
Some management members of that associations are expats, and their only interest is to gain permanent resident points, once they get these points, then, they remove themselves from the associations. Most of these expats have very little experience in sports administration & coaching, and they oppose those that know, especially Caymanians that have represented this country at the highest level of sports.
What is further evident is that few Caymanian management members all come from a supposed elite status background and look down on grassroots Caymanians; it is very clear what is going on. The few Caymanian management members that are there only use the expats as yes-men for decisions and voting rights. The expats know that they have to toe the line to get the PR points, and the elite Caymanian use these people for their gain and control. With all this, the only people that are left behind are the athletes. Another annoying point is that expats are chosen on trips to go abroad in place of Caymanians to sporting events.
Then comes the point of under-18 athletes that are born to expats, how do these much-required athletes represent the Cayman Islands when they are not considered full Caymanians? Are these athletes to wait until they are over 18 to represent while wasting their Junior careers because of immigration laws?
Corporate entities and local businesses only seem to care to take from the public and not give back via funding for the various sporting bodies. It's a very strange island where they use 5k walks-runs to generate monies for some cause, entrance fees to these events are on the high side and are at the expense of the participant. Very few Corporate entities sponsor sports on a large scale. In my view, Cayman Island is behind in sports when compared to other Caribbean Nations that have much less. I think the government needs to take an in depth look on how these sporting bodies are being ran and revamp funding. Corporate entities also need to start giving back to the community.
All for Sports