The Cayman Islands Flag Football (CIFFA) recently held its first-ever youth football camp at the Cayman Prep and High School facility on Smith Road.
Some 40 children, aged 7-11 years, participated in the half day camp and were introduced to the basic concepts of flag football, including skill development in critical areas such as throwing, catching, offensive routes and defensive coverage. The importance of team participation and having fun also was emphasized.
Some 12 instructors comprised of national team coaches and players from the men’s league were on hand to train and assist the kids. While blowing whistles and coaches barking encouragement could be heard throughout the afternoon, it was all in fun and proved to be a great learning experience for the coaches as well.
‘Based on the level of turnout, the kids eagerness to participate and the ear to ear grins seen on the face of so many of the children, the day was a huge success,’ said CIFFA President George ‘Teddy’ Hydes.
To date, CIFFA has primarily focused its energy on running a men’s league which has proven to be very popular and with each year’s league building off the momentum and success of the previous season. The 2005 season was comprised of nine teams or in excess of 100 registered players. However, with the growing popularity of the sport in Cayman, as an organization, CIFFA would like to also now promote the game among the youth of the Cayman Islands.
‘Launching a youth league has always been a vision of CIFFA,’ said Hydes. ‘With the positive feedback received from the kids and their parents following the inaugural camp, plans are already in motion for additional day camps, following which it is hoped to launch a youth league.’
CIFFA would like to thank the following sponsors for helping to make this a successful day: Cayman Prep and High School, Burger King, Red Bull, Kirk Beverages, Rebecca Grant (Physical Education teacher at Cayman Prep).
A special thank you was given to Rustin Smith, CIFFA Committee Member/National Team Player, who was instrumental in bringing it all together managing the day’s activities and ensuring the day, was a great success. Special thanks also went to all the coaches who eagerly taught the kids and gave their time to further the game of flag football among the youth of Cayman.