It is very important during the adolescent years to encourage and enable your children to explore different areas of interest, keep positively engaged and extend themselves in new ways. There are a wide range of free and low-cost programmes in Cayman aimed at adolescents and at-risk youth. Some options for keeping your teenager occupied are listed below.
The Ministry of Education sponsors extended after-school programmes for public primary and high schools in every district. The programmes are free, operate from 3pm to 6pm and include a rotating range of activities such as basketball, football, cricket, homework clubs, swimming, automotive workshops, archery and track and field. Transportation is provided from the school to the activity and back again.
Dalmain Ebanks runs a tight ship at the D. Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym located in front of the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The programme is open to children of all ages, is government funded and keeps kids active whilst developing their discipline and fitness. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cayman Cricket group organises competitions from May to June for secondary schools and holds practices throughout the year for under-15s on Saturday mornings. Tel: (345) 945 6447, or email: email@example.com.
The Cayman Islands Little League operated by the YMCA Cayman Islands, is the largest facility of its kind in the Caribbean and runs free programmes for kids up to 17 years of age. Tel: (345) 916 5643 or (345) 945 3553, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cayman Islands Football Association is in the advanced stages of developing a Grassroots Programme for kids up to 12 years in each district. The programme aims to build a close relationship between the football clubs, youth national teams and parents, and to identify and help to address the needs of the families and children involved. Tel: (345) 749 5775, or email: email@example.com.
Academy Football Club provides opportunities for families from different socio-economic backgrounds on a case-by-case basis by accepting assistance through fundraising and volunteering time in lieu of fees. Virgil Seymour is in charge of Youth Development and can be contacted on Tel: (345) 925 5032, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit: www.academysportsclub.ky.
Students can try a free week of classes at Cayman Associated Schools of Karate (C.A.S.K.) at the Kings Sports Centre. Adolescents may be eligible for scholarships or financial assistance and can contact the chief instructor Greg Reid directly to enquire on Tel: (345) 925 3367, or visit: www.caskcayman.com.
The Rugby Club in South Sound runs a well-established programme for kids up to the age of 18 years. Their fees for the year are very reasonable at CI$100. Contact Caroline Deegan for more information: Tel: (345) 525 6743, email: email@example.com, or visit: www.caymanrugby.com.
After-school basketball training is available through the Cayman Islands Basketball Association for children up to 16 years of age. Many children travel to the practices held at Kings Sports Centre on school buses operating from all public high schools. Practice takes place on Thursdays and Fridays from 3.30pm to 5.30pm and costs CI$10 a month. There is also a one-time payment of CI$25 for a team shirt which is worn at every practice. Tel: (345) 916 5083, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cayman Islands Netball Association (CINA) has a Junior league and games are played throughout the year for under-12s, under-14s and under-16s. A member’s fee of CI$5 is made once a year. Lucille Seymour is the president of CINA and can be contacted on Tel: (345) 916 1944 or email: email@example.com. For more information, visit www.caymannetball.com.
Michael Myles manages the Black Pearl Skate Park and the Cayman Islands Skateboard Association and has grown the park from a fledgling after-school programme into a bustling centre of activity for a diverse cross section of Cayman’s children and teenagers. The dynamic course consists of beginner, intermediate and expert ramps and covers 62,000 sq. ft., making it the largest skate park in North America! Basketball hoops and games have been added and there is a definite community vibe that resounds throughout the skate park. Children and teenagers of all ages adhere to strictly enforced rules against cursing, bullying and littering, coexisting effortlessly. Daily rates are very reasonable at $5 for residents and $10 for visitors. For more information visit www.blackpearl.ky.
The Cadet Corps (Tel: (345) 946 9810, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit: www.cicadetcorps.ky) and the YMCA Teen Leader’s Club (Tel: (345) 922 2291, Web: www.ymcacayman.ky) teach teenagers life skills and encourage them to develop high standards of conduct. In the Teen Leader’s Club, the teenagers organise all activities themselves and the programme is free. The TAYA Lounge, run through the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (Email: email@example.com) offers a supportive environment for adolescents to learn life training skills, participate in therapy sessions and recreational activities and is open from Tuesday to Friday, 3pm-8pm and on Saturday from 12pm-8pm.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands (Tel: (345) 923 2471) is a well-established mentoring programme for kids up to 16 years of age (or up to 18 years if they are involved in the programme prior to turning 16). Adolescents are matched with an adult mentor and given guidance and friendship through regular meetings.
The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands runs an afterschool Teen Art Programme every Wednesday during term time for ages 14 -17. The classes are sponsored by Walkers and are free to attend. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Devoting time to a charitable cause is a valuable way to teach adolescents a sense of community responsibility. Cayman is very fortunate to be home to a large number of non-profit organisations and charities that assist different groups in need across the Islands.
The Cayman Islands Humane Society (Tel: (345) 949 1461, Web: www.caymanislandshumansociety.com) is always looking for volunteers and is a great way for adolescents to get active through dog walking or helping with pet grooming and animal care. See our Volunteering article for more information.
Most churches in Cayman offer a Friday night youth group which are very popular. They provide a supportive environment for your adolescent’s spiritual development and encourage teenagers to actively support their congregation. The Cayman Islands Baptist Church (Tel: (345) 946 2422) boasts one of the strongest youth followings and their group often also participates in interesting field trips.
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