36 years after Port Arthur, Texas and the Cayman Islands became ‘Sister Cities’, the two regions are joining forces in an effort to provide an opportunity for youth athletes from four neighbouring regions.
Spearheaded by Port Arthur Pastor Wanda Bodden and Department of Sports Director Collin Anglin, ‘Bringing Back The Glory’ Sports Festival, slated for 18-20 July, is set to feature both Under-18 Boys and Girls basketball along with boxing featuring athletes from Port Arthur, Cayman, Bermuda and Trinidad & Tobago.
“We want our athletes to be able to explore, and give them exposure to another culture, while building relationships and exchange coaching styles,” said Mrs. Bodden. “We are about family. Mr. Anglin expressed the same thing. I don’t intend on this being a one-time thing. I want this to be a minimum of five years.”
The event, which will be self-funded by each region, will be assisted by funds solicited by Mr. Anglin from private stakeholders. He says it is budgeted at $15,000 to $20,000.
“It’s a combination of both,” said Mr. Anglin. “We will help with transportation and food which he hopes will help offset some of the costs. They are raising their own money for airfare, and we are fortunate to have confirmed support from private stakeholders.”
Mr. Anglin added government would contribute to the event financially “but have not confirmed an amount”.
Cayman Islands Basketball Association (CIBA) Technical Director Victor O’Garro said the tournament will feature the programme’s top Caymanians competing in the United States such as grandson Joshua O’Garro, who plays for Santa Clarita High School, as well as standouts Kai Robinson and Trey Ebanks.
For the Cayman Islands Boxing Association, the team assembled by new Head Coach Floyd Trumpet will see in-ring action for the first time since relaunching the national programme’s efforts in February. Since his hiring, Trumpet says CIBA’s youth programme has about sixty Under-18 boxers, with 25 regular boxers 19 years of age or older.
“I’m proud to pass my knowledge on,” said Trumpet. “Some of the kids have taken to the knowledge very good. This tournament will showcase what we have learned the last few months. There is some talent here in the Cayman Islands. Competition is welcome. Some of our youngers have never really boxed, but we will be prepared. ”
CIBA President Leyla Jackson says the group is excited to be competing domestically after over a year without an event for local boxing hopefuls.
“This represents a fantastic opportunity to give our youth some participation, and something to work towards,” said Jackson.