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Deputy Governor First to Climb on YMCA Ropes Challenge Course

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson was the first person to climb on the YMCA’s ropes challenge course after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility today (Wednesday, 11 April 2018).

The course was built by the YMCA of the Cayman Islands with cash from the 2017 Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge.

The fundraising walk/runs, which were held last April with around 2,000 participants, raised a record $85,000 from the events held in Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman - $25,000 more than target.

“I’m absolutely delighted to see the course being completed and ready to benefit the young people of the Cayman Islands,” said Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who was guest of honour at the ceremony.

The ropes course, which is located at the Field of Dreams in George Town, consists of ground-level structures and a 50-foot Alpine climbing tower. Various activities on the course provide evidence-based results for learning in areas proven to increase problem-solving abilities, improve communication, confidence and self-esteem, as well as develop overall team-building skills. It will open to the public next month.

“This is a wonderful example of people from all walks of life in the Cayman Islands coming together to make a difference to the challenges we face in our community,” said Mr. Manderson. “I’m very proud that this course has been built with funds from last year’s DG’s 5K challenge. I now challenge everyone to come out and take part in the 2018 event which is being held over the next three weekends in Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and Grand Cayman.”

The YMCA was given $80,000 by the 2017 DG's 5K Challenge for the development of the ropes challenge course, which made up more than half of the total project cost. Additionally, CUC and Arch & Godfrey provided the necessary support to complete the project.

The remaining $5,000 of the 2017 DG's 5K Challenge funds paid for young people from Cayman Brac to attend a week-long YMCA camp in Grand Cayman last August.

“We are extremely happy to open the ropes course today,” said YMCA Chairman Andrew Johnson. “Thanks to the 2017 DG’s 5K Challenge fund-raising efforts, we now have a first-class facility that provides essential life-building skills.”

The 2018 DG’s 5K Challenge fundraising target is $60,000, with the events being held on Cayman Brac on Sunday 15 April, Little Cayman on Sunday, 22 April and Grand Cayman on Sunday 29 April.

Focusing on food, nutrition and well-being, the beneficiaries on Grand Cayman will be Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels, Feed Our Future, and the Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman’s Buy a Kid Breakfast programme.

Proceeds from the Cayman Brac event are to be donated to the Kirkconnell Community Care Centre for meals, while money raised in Little Cayman will go towards a “grow box” at that island’s school.

Registration is on www.caymanactive.com/dg5k. Fees are $25 for ages 18 and older and just $10 for ages 17 and younger.

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