In the Cayman Islands, many factors including a benign climate which is conducive to outdoor activities all year round, and the influence of the many cultures represented on the islands, have contributed to sport and recreation becoming important aspects of life for many Caymanians and residents. Evidence of this could be found in the diverse nature of sporting and recreational activities offered, and the growing number of participants.
The Government has always been aware of the need to support the development of sports and recreation as an important element in the social and economic development of these islands. In 1935 Governor Cornwall organized the first regatta for Catboats and schooners both as a social event, and as a means of encouraging tourists visiting Jamaica to come to the Cayman Islands.
In 1938 efforts were made by a school inspector to include physical drill as part of the education curriculum and in 1947 it was recommended that every school should have a “Sports Day”. In 1938 also saw the return of Timothy “Teacher” Mcfield and Mr. Vernon Jackson to Grand Cayman and both men began organizing football and other sports in the schools.
The first interschool sports was held in 1949. This trend, to better the organization of sport continued, and in 1976, the First Cayman Team participated in the Olympics in sailing. Since then the Cayman Islands have participated in CARIFTA, Central American and Caribbean Games, Pan American Games, the Commonwealth Games, Island Games, the Olympic Games, World Championships in Athletics, and the World Cup qualifiers in Football.
In 1987 the Sports Office was created to assist the growing number of Associations with their planning and management, and to advise Government on Policy matters related to sport in the Cayman Islands. The then Minister for Health, Education and Social Services Mr. Benson Ebanks is quoted as saying that, he was “putting emphasis on Sport because it did two things for the country; It improved health and developed character”.
In 1994 , the then Minister for Sports, The Honourable Mckeeva Bush tabled in the Legislative Assembly a document entitled “Sports Development in the Cayman Islands-A National Policy Statement,” which outlined the benefits of Sports to the Cayman Islands, a course of action to be pursued as it is related to the provision of facilities, and which while recognizing the benefits of all sporting activities, indicated those sports which should receive greatest assistance from Government, since Government could not adequately satisfy the needs of the then 34 National Associations.
In 2004, after experiencing a massive destruction of nearly all facilities, the then Minister for Sport – Honouralbe Alden McLaughlin – led a massive reconstruction of the major sporting facilities in the Cayman Islands in an effort to move the Islands forward in their quest to facilitate both local and International Events.