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DG17 Andrew Johnson of the YMCA congratulates Deputy Governor

In April 2018 Deputy Dovernor, Honourable Franz Manderson cut the ribbon to officially open the YMCA’s Ropes Challenge Course.  The Y was a beneficiary of the 2017 DG’s 5K Challenge, the catalyst to the Y being able to construct the course!

Ropes challenge courses are a unique teaching tool that gets kids out of the classroom, and adults out of the office. 8 Deputy Governor and Jennifer Ahearn, Co-Chair of the DG's 5K Challenge Committee, with members of the YMCA. Courses feature a series of obstacles created using telephone poles, cables, wood, rope, and even tires.

The Y ropes course is located at the Field of Dreams in George Town, and consists of ground-level structures and a 50-foot Alpine climbing tower. Various activities on the course provide evidence-based results for learning in areas proven to increase problem-solving abilities, improve communication, confidence and self-esteem, as well as develop overall team-building skills.

On the occasion of the ribbon cutting Mr. Manderson stated, “This is a wonderful example of people from all walks of life in the Cayman Islands coming together to make a difference to the challenges we face in our community. I’m very proud that this course has been built with funds from the 2017 DG’s 5K challenge.”

The YMCA was given $80,000 by the 2017 DG’s 5K Challenge for the development of the ropes challenge course, which made up more than half of the total project cost. Additionally, CUC and Arch & Godfrey provided the necessary support to complete the project.

The ropes course provides an exciting and fun approach to teaching some of the most critical and fundamental skills necessary to be successful at life. These courses were first developed in 1941 for military training. Since then, they have been used for a wide range of educational, recreational, therapeutic, and developmental purposes.

For young people who face obstacles every day, an engaging, out-of-the-classroom approach helps teach lessons like the importance of having a good plan, working with others, and effective communication. A challenge course also reinforces the importance of trust, problem-solving, peaceful resolution of conflict, and the essentials of teamwork in a practical learning environment.