By Flynn Bush
Caymanian students have been to school in other countries for generations. Whether it is boarding school, college or university, our students are not new to that. Additionally, some of our students have played sports while at their foreign school, and many have performed well. This year, even with the abrupt end to the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still instances of Caymanians shining. David and Jade Pitcairn are two examples of this continued success for Caymanians abroad but, their story is no ordinary tale. It is a tale of a brother and sister, innately different yet connected in a common pursuit of athletic and academic excellence.
At this time of the year, there would normally be an awards ceremony at Trinity College School in Canada where the Pitcairn siblings have been students for the past two years. This year, that ceremony was held in a much different format but the fact that it was held virtually did not diminish the importance of the awards being handed out. Thus, the two young Caymanians still stood out from the crowd.
In order to set the scene, so to speak, let me provide a little background information. David and Jade Pitcairn have been playing squash for quite some time now, beginning from a time when they would go with their father, John, to the South Sound Squash Club and play a few games. Whilst there have been other sports, particularly for David, the love of squash kept growing and their skills kept improving. They eventually grew into two of the best junior players this country has ever had. Each of them has had much international and regional success as well. This fact coupled with their desire for a consistently competitive athletic atmosphere and a valuable educational experience led to their enrollment at Trinity College.
From the outset, their contribution was noticed. The coaches right away were drawn to their spirit of humility, leadership, and teamwork. Their athletic domination also began to show. With David playing as the number 1 player on the boys team, and Jade playing as the number 1 on the girls team and number 3 on the boys team, the duo became a ‘tour de force’ that will always be remembered at the school. The pair were so successful that it led to Coach Sasha Vojnov referring to each of them in highly flattering ways. He specifically said that David was one of the best players to ever play at Trinity and that he would someday be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. Coach Vojnov described Jade as a “selfless and inspirational player who has helped to grow girls’ squash at TCS and leaguewide.” In the ceremony, David was awarded the Charles F Bullen Trophy (Best Player). Additionally, both Jade and David were given the Leadership Award (Moorjani Family Trophy) based on their captaincy of the teams, and the leadership qualities that they displayed throughout their entire tenure at TCS.
David describes himself as a player whose biggest strength is self-regulation in order to mentally strong. However, he is so much than that. He is a superbly talented player who is dedicated to team-first principles. His sister, Jade, describes himself as a player whose biggest strength is intuition to make the best shot selection. This helped her to remain undefeated in the girls’ league, and to also be extremely successful for the boys’ team as well.
Both siblings claim their parents as their heroes, and they laud the incredible level of support their mother and father gave them, and that they continue to give them. This is all part of the reason why, with their success, David and Jade have evolved into young people the entire country can be proud of.
Ms. Julianna O’Connor Connolly, Minister of Education and Sports, is one person who is very proud of them, and she wanted to express that sentiment. Her statement reads, “Congratulations David and Jade (Pitcairn) for receiving the Moorjani Family Trophy for your outstanding leadership as captains of Trinity College’s male and female squash teams. Further congratulations to David for also receiving the Charles F Bullen Trophy having been named the top player in the league. It is not often that a student from a small island nation is described in such high esteem in a foreign land and I am extremely honoured to recognise such wonderful and outstanding young talent. My Ministry stands committed to enhancing sports education among our youth so that we can continue to produce world-class athletes. Congratulations again for your accomplishments and the contributions you continue to make to the game of squash. I look forward to your continued success.”
John and Theresa Pitcairn are incredibly proud of their children, and rightfully so. Our entire country should be proud of what Jade and David have achieved and the way that they have represented our country while at school overseas. Undoubtedly, there will be more successes in the future and when they come, we will be ready to congratulate these two young Caymanians once again.