By Lindsey Turnbull
In celebration of International Women’s Day, which took place on Monday 8th March, a gathering of some of Cayman’s finest female athletes assembled at the South Sound Squash Club where each spoke about their path to the top of their field.
Club Manager Marlene West said the event, called Women in Sports, also gave women and in particular, young women, the chance to play squash and other games while at the same time encourage great socialising, shopping and take in the powerful messages and experiences the panelist had to share.
“This event is to celebrate all things women but with a focus on sport,” she advised. “We encouraged women and girls and also men in support to attend and each had the chance to try the sport of squash, browse the shopping items on offer or simply have a nice social. Some of our top female squash players were on court teaching the basics, playing some fun games and generally having a good time on court.”
Ms West said that it was particularly important to showcase the game of squash to young women as she said most young players who were working their way up through the game in Cayman were boys.
Internationally successful sports women held a Q&A with those in attendance, including Olympic swimmer Lara Butler, England women Rugby Union team member Mercedes Foy, Track & Field Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Cydonnie Mothersill, martial arts and World Body Building Federation winner Carla Yee Sing, Island Games Basketball gold medalist Dionne O’Garro, Marlene West, Cayman’s top female squash player who has won many medals for her country, 2nd VP Cayman Islands Netball Association Katherine Gow, and CrossFit’s Wanda Brenton, who has represented Cayman internationally in Volleyball and Crossfit. The event was moderated by Meita Day, Sports Coordinator for Women at the CIG Department of Sports, who is an accomplished sports woman and Cayman’s first ever medalist at the CAC Games in Taekwondo.
“Our panelists shared issues they had faced, such as how they kept motivated after an injury, their most challenging experience whilst competing, their training schedule, and what it was like for them playing sports at that level being a woman,” Ms West said. “Sports on the island is growing – there is an endless amount of activities and scholarships in sports for young people now. It is important that young people realise what options they have and the life values they can learn by playing a sport at a highly competitive level.”
In particular, she hoped more young women would be encouraged to get involved in sports.