Helping youngsters stay on the right path

A deep-seated passion for helping develop Cayman’s youth has been recognised and congratulated as Acting Sports Director Collin Anglin was named the Young Cayman Leadership Awards recipient for 2010. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull meets the latest addition to a long line of distinguished Caymanian role models to find out more about the man behind the glitz and the glamour of the awards ceremony and reports. First in a two-part series.

Family love
Having a loving and caring family help guide him throughout his youth, Collin Anglin says, guided him into making good life choices at an early age.
“My family always encouraged me to take part in sports from a young age,” he explains, “not in a pushy way, but as a means to help me be involved in something positive.”
Collin says what his family may have lacked materially as he grew up was more than made up for by the love they showed him: “I may have sometimes saved up my lunch money for a new pair of shoes or a new Nintendo game; however one thing I never lacked at home was love. I always felt treasured and special.”
He adds with a smile: Actually, as the only boy with three sisters, they would say I was spoilt!”
That said, Collin confirms his family life was well balanced and he knew when he had overstepped the line.
“My mother’s side of the family gave me the discipline that I needed whereas my father’s side showed me considerable love and affection. When I got into trouble for hanging out with the wrong crowd (for which I spent a night in prison although I didn’t actually commit any crime) it was to my mother and my grand-mother that I vowed I would never get into trouble again.”

Giving back
Collin’s basketball sporting career took off under the guidance of his coach Victor O’Garro, who helped Collin reach the national team for basketball when he was just 16.
“I learnt so much more from being part of sports than simply how to play the game. I had to learn to socialise with other team members, I learnt the importance of dedication, punctuality, good sportsmanship, hard work, all life lessons that have stood me in good stead throughout my life.” 
The then President of the Basketball Association, Tony Scott, also instilled in his young players the importance of volunteering time with young people.
“Once we were on the national squad we were all assigned primary schools and we had to put in considerable time and effort coaching the youngsters, just how my previous coaches such as Roy Ebanks, Gillie Seymour and Victor O’Garro had done for us,” he comments.
Once Collin had a taste for coaching youngsters he says he was “bitten by the bug” and it has been an activity that he has enjoyed throughout his adult life.
Nowadays Collin enjoys coaching a West Bay youth basketball team as well as a ladies team (of which his wife, Dionne Anglin is the captain), in his spare time.
“I think it is extremely important to give back to your own district,” Collin says. “I live in West Bay so it makes sense for me to coach there. Accessibility is very important for young people.
They need to be able to easily get to their sporting activity without the need for hitching a ride to another district.”

Youngsters need support
Professionally Collin is able to combine his passion for sports with his dedication to Cayman’s youth in his career as Acting Director of Sports with the government’s Department of Sports, noting that sports and youth are “inextricably linked”.
The Department is involved with the development of a number of community programmes geared at encouraging youngsters to become involved in sports via school and after school programmes.
“We provide access for young people to play all sorts of sports, including football, netball, basketball, swimming athletics and cricket,” he confirms. “However, although we encourage participants to enjoy playing sports, the focus is just as much on helping young people live a healthy and active life. We are not just geared up for those individuals who want to be on the national team; we encourage all youngsters to participate and have fun.”
Collin says that these programmes are in desperate need of volunteers to assist with coaching youngsters.
“We are just a small department and we are low on resources,” he says, “Our staff are maxed out and so we rely heavily on volunteers. We welcome parents and grandparents to come and be involved in ours sports initiatives.”
Collin says that creating a family atmosphere is all part of the programme and he cannot stress enough the important role that families play in their child’s development.
“When parents give of their time and support to cheer their youngsters on it speaks volumes to the young people,” he states. “And it’s not about money. It’s not enough that parents and families are able to spend out on the latest footwear for their children; the youngsters would rather have an old pair of shoes and have their parents at the sidelines of their game any time.” 

Collin says that the sports programmes do have a small team of dedicated parents who are extremely supportive of their youngsters; however they are outnumbered by those young people who do not receive any kind of similar support.

Read about Collin’s thoughts on how to fix Cayman’s troubled youth next month.


Photo: Matthew Yates