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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Spotlight | Cayman’s Young Sports Stars Q & A

Spotlight | Cayman’s Young Sports Stars Q & A

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These talented young men and women have achieved outstanding results in their respective sports including success at an international level, a scholarship, admission to a world class academy and even participation in the ultimate sportsperson’s dream – the Olympics!

 


Lara Butler

Lara is a 23 year old Assistant Accountant at KPMG. She represented the Cayman Islands at the 2016 Summer Olympics!

How did you manage to balance school-work with an intensive training programme?

It was a very good stress reliever, as a kid you are full of energy and being able to apply that to a sport was very helpful. It helped me in terms of time management – I had to be focused when it came to school work. Being so busy makes you realise there isn’t much room for procrastination.

 

What advice would you offer a young Caymanian interested in starting a sport?

I’d suggest that you try a variety of different sports to find out which one you enjoy the most and have a passion for; that way practising or training doesn’t feel like a chore but rather something you look forward to!

 

How did training in Cayman compare to training in the UK?

In terms of technical equipment, Cayman does not hold up against the UK, but in all honesty that high level equipment is not needed when you are a child. What’s more important is a good mentor or coach to motivate the kids. Correct technique is crucial, which all of the coaches we have in Cayman promote and teach, so we’re lucky in that respect.

 

Was there ever a point where you considered quitting?

Yes, many times! I started to feel like I was missing out on a proper social life around the age of sixteen. I went to a sports councillor who gave me really useful advice. He told me that swimming doesn’t mean I have to miss out on going out with my friends – I just had to learn to strike a balance.

 


Cameron Sinclair

Cameron is joining Sedburgh School in the UK in September 2018 on a rugby scholarship.

How old were you when you first started playing rugby and how old were you when you played your first match abroad?

I started playing rugby when I was seven, and I was eight when I first competed abroad.

What is the biggest lesson you learnt from all your years of training?

Discipline is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learnt. To always put in 100% effort and if I’m going do it I may as well do it right.

How do you manage to balance school-work with an intensive training programme?

I train three to four times a week so sometimes I have to find time during school to finish off school work but I mostly have time to do both.

What was your first thought upon being offered a rugby scholarship at Sedburgh School?

I was really amazed and proud of myself. I knew it would be the best thing.

What advice would you offer a young Caymanian interested in starting a sport?

That they should never give up even when it’s tough and it will be tough. Set a goal for yourself and work hard to get there.


 

James Crooks

James Crooks is 14 years old and a pupil at John Gray High School. He is known to be a rising star on the track and is training to compete in the 2019 CARIFTA Games.

 

How old were you when you first started middle distance running?

I started track when I was nine years old. My first track competition abroad was when I was 12 years old. I’ve since competed in the Miami Classic as well.

Which athlete do you most admire and why?

Mohammed Farah because he never gives up.

How do you manage to balance school-work with an intensive training programme?

I manage it by studying hard and doing my homework in school. After I am finished with the school work I go to the track in the evenings. I also practice on weekends. I train three to four times a week.

Who encouraged you to start running/athletics?

My Dad, Mr. Anthony Crook, encouraged me to start running.

What advice would you offer a young Caymanian interested in starting a sport?

I would say don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything. Just go, and push yourself until you reach your goal.

What is the biggest lesson you learnt from all your years of training?

Never underestimate people that you may think are slow.

What skills did you develop through athletics that have helped you in every-day life? Sportsmanship.


 

Jade Wilkinson

Jade is a 17 year old student athlete, who  previously attended Cayman Prep and is a proud Dart Scholarship recipient. Jade currently attends IMG Academy, a world class sports academy in Florida.

 

How old were you when you first started playing tennis?

I started playing tennis when I was seven but I started playing competitively at age 12 when I went to Jamaica to play the Blue Mountain Invitational tournament.

 

Which tennis player do you most admire and why?

Victoria Azarenka as she’s fought a knee injury as well as a custody battle for her child. She’s always had a fighting spirit on the court which I find inspiring.

 

How does training in Cayman compare to training in the USA?

Training in Cayman is nice because there is a lot of one-on-one time with the coach. However, there is little opportunity for competition. Every day in the USA I get to hit with somebody I haven’t hit with before, so I gain a lot of experience in match play.

 

What was your first thought upon being offered a place at IMG?

I immediately thought “yes!” and wanted to join straight away. After thinking and considering the change in my life I was nervous, but still excited to start a new journey.

 

What is the biggest lesson you learnt from all your years of training?

That hard work pays off and that you have to believe in yourself and not get tempted by distractions.

 

 

 
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