Gerry Kirkconnell honoured with Little League award

| 16/08/2019
CNS Local Life
(L-R) Previous George Rivers Award recipients Sara Mackay and JC Calhoun, with this year’s honouree, Gerry Kirkconnell, and YMCA CEO Greg Smith

(CNS Local Life): Local businessman and community leader, Gerry Kirkconnell, was surprised at a recent Cayman Islands Little League (CILL) reunion event when founder JC Calhoun called his name to present the George Rivers Award, a longstanding tradition that has been revived to recognise CILL volunteers. The award was created to honour dedicated, long-serving CILL volunteers who wear a variety of hats to make the programme run smoothly.

Rivers was a committed coach, umpire, chauffeur and so much more who had a great attitude and was truly supportive of all the kids, stated a CILL press release. All four of his kids earned Little League ‘Sportsmanship’ awards, a character trait that was fostered at home. He died suddenly several years ago after suffering a heart attack.

Kirkconnell’s relationship with Little League began almost from the organisation’s inception. His four sons and most of their friends all played the game while he coached; some still play in the co-ed softball league today. He also sponsored teams during those years and continues to do so. 

In addition, Kirkconnell was instrumental in helping to develop new fundraising revenue streams for the organisation such as the Little League Golf Tournament, which his company, Kirk Freeport, sponsored with one of its brands, Rolex, and which became one of the most anticipated annual charity golf scrambles. It was also his idea to hold the Little League auction and he was one of the most generous donors of items over the years, the release said. 

When he accepted the George Rivers Award, Kirkconnell noted how much his family had enjoyed the Little League programme over the years, how much his kids had gotten out of it, and especially how much the behavioural principles being taught in the programme were needed in Cayman. 

He also encouraged alumni to volunteer to coach the next generation and pass on what they have learned through Little League, emphasising how the organisation builds community through its programmes.

Past recipients of the George Rivers Award are Jeremy Rice (2011), Pam Parsons (2010), JC Calhoun (2009), Jim Parham (2008), Minnie Giddings (2007), Donnie Ebanks (2003), Robbie and Paula Cribb (2002), Rod and Penny McDowall (2001), Kevin and Robin Hartmann (2000), Robert and Jeanette Totten (1999) and Sara Mackay (1998).

For more information about Cayman Islands Little League email or call 916-5643

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Category: Baseball, Sports

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