Rugby kids turn out in force

Cayman’s rugby programme for children is proving to be as popular as ever.

Around 200 turned up at the first one on Saturday morning.

Youth rugby

Youth rugby is on the run once again in the Cayman Islands. Photo: Guy P. Harrison

The programme at the club house in South Sound is in its fourth year and this was the best ever opening day attendance.

David Mays, Cayman’s community development coach, said: ‘It was excellent. Our first Saturday and 200 kids with around 100 parents. The word’s getting out and I’ve had some more phone calls this week. On a daily basis we’re getting calls about people wanting to register.’

Mays was pleasantly surprised with the number of girls who turned up too. ‘We had about 16 girls in the eight to 14 age group. Even in the four to six-year-olds we had quite a few girls. I don’t know why but it’s that age group that’s a real part of the Saturday morning programme. It’s certainly not a baby-sitting session because the parents are all there anyway. We just need to get the parents more involved in some way, doing stuff for the kids.’

The numbers show that there is a huge demand for rugby.

‘This is why we’re going to be taking the game out into the community. We’re starting the Maples & Calder outreach programme where we get out into West Bay, Savannah, Bodden Town and East End. Once we get those communities working after school in the week, it might take the burden off the Saturday morning programme. At least the kids will get two doses of rugby a week if they want to.’

Mays is encouraged that all the field allocations and times for the schools programmes are confirmed. He is also pleased that 22 girls from the Maples & Calder programme turned up for practice at South Sound on Monday night. ‘We gained another eight girls and we’re aiming for 40 by Christmas so we’re half way there after only two weeks.’

Rugby for Kids is at the Rugby Club, South Sound, every Saturday 8-11am. It runs till April. Cost for the year up to April 2008 is $50 per child. For more information, ring: 924 9951.