Brac Cup Invitational football tourney alive and kicking

| 23/08/2016
CNS Local Life

The Cayman Brac Football Club team

(CNS): After a 12-year hiatus, the Brac Cup Invitational men’s football tournament is returning to Cayman Brac, set to take place 26-28 August. The two-day knockout tournament, being held at the Cayman Brac Sports Complex, will take place between the Cayman Brac Football Club (CBFC), the Cayman Islands Under-20 National Team and a squad from Johnson & Wales University of Rhode Island in the US.

Attending the Brac Cup this year will be Clyde Jureidini, general manager of Harbour View FC out of Kingston, Jamaica. CBFC is hoping to reach a mutual-exchange agreement with the Jamaican club, enabling Cayman footballers to benefit from annual trials as well as providing coaching exchanges and other development opportunities at the club level.

Sports instructor Harold ‘Mitchum’ Sandford, said, “Over the past year, Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Kirkconnell and I have been discussing the possibility of hosting an invitational tournament in Cayman Brac to take advantage of the natural linkages that already exist on many levels.

“For example, the CBFC men’s team has consistently had over a dozen young men between the ages of 14-24 on the team and has successfully aided several teenage footballers from Cayman Brac with training opportunities at universities in the USA.

“Bringing universities from the USA to Cayman Brac to play in local tournaments, on local soil, goes a step further, and gives more of our young players the chance to gain experience playing against international teams.”

From a tourism perspective, Kirkconnell confirmed that outside of traditional sun, sea and sand, sports tourism is a significant driver of visitor travel and offers the flexibility of being timed to take place during the slower or off-peak season.

“Sports tourism has the potential to boost the Cayman Brac economy and Government has been working hard to methodically put the pieces in place to attract and underpin sports tourism opportunities. The upgrades at the sports complex provide a safe and modern environment for players and fans and allow the sports programme to be confidently expanded to meet international standards,” he said.

“Additionally, the introduction of direct international flights and the increase in seats already available through Cayman Airways collectively places us in a better position to market Cayman Brac as an ideal location for smaller tournaments.”

In addition, the dean of admissions and the admissions officer from Johnson & Wales will be hosted next month at Layman Scott High School. During their visit they will conduct presentations with students, faculty, parents and guardians, and will also hold one-on-one sessions with interested students.

Looking to the future, Sandford said the Brac Cup is poised to become an annual event once more. “CBFC has made friends with more than two dozen universities in the USA and the plan is to invite them all take part in the Brac Cup over the next few years,” he said.

“As the tournament grows, we hope to invite several scouts, coaches, and admissions officers from other schools and academies to come and watch the Brac Cup and hopefully recruit.”

The next Invitational football tournament planned for Cayman Brac will be the Junior Brac Cup Invitational that will held in June 2017. Jamaica’s Harbour View and Arsenal FC of Honduras have already confirmed their participation.

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Category: Football, Sports

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