Flag football’s free one day youth camp gets rolling this Saturday.
The camp is being put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association and One 345 Designs at Camana Bay.
Cayman International School Field will see youngsters aged eight to 14 come out to take part in drills and exercises related to flag football and learn about issues such as youth diabetes and HIV/AIDS.
The camp sees free registration for kids from 11am-12noon with the actual camp going on until roughly 4pm.
A trio of NFL stars will be out to the event in Martellus Bennett of the Dallas Cowboys, Danny Ware and Kevin Harris of the New York Giants.
Originally Desean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles, Steve Smith of the New York Giants and Marcellus Wiley (formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and now a TV analyst with ESPN) were slated to come in time for the camp.
However Jackson, Smith and Wiley had last-minute change of plans.
The NFL players that are coming though will be on the field from roughly 2pm to 4pm assisting with instructing the basics of flag football in addition to signing autographs.
The schedule of events for the camp at press time is as follows:
From 11am to 12pm is registration. From noon until about 2pm will see kids participating.
From roughly 2pm to 2:30pm will see the players talk to the kids followed by a brief break. From 3pm to 3:30pm the kids are slated to get one last session before the Cayman national flag football team [on their way to the flag football world cup] take the field for drills from 3:30-4:30pm.
The camp serves as the kick-off event for The Security Centre Youth Flag Football League.
That league, run by CIFFA, takes place from 28 February until 24 April. It targets boys and girls aged eight to 14.
The league will focus on teaching flag football in a fun and relaxed environment. Games will take place on Saturday afternoons at the Camana Bay Sports Field.
There will be no player fees and the league is completely free for kids.
To raise awareness of the event a number of activities are being planned around tomorrow’s camp.
Tonight will see a social event termed a ‘Caribbean beach lounge mixer’ at Geckos Bar and Grill on West Bay Road across from the Courtyard Marriott.
Sponsored by One 345 Designs, Dms Broadcasting and the Caymanian Compass, the event is set to take place from 9pm until 1am and will see performances by a guest DJ and reggae artist Stuart Wilson. Wilson is best known for his smash hit ‘What is it you represent?’
From there a private after-party takes place tomorrow night well after the camp is over. Details on this party were not available at press time.
According to Event co-ordinator Luigi Moxam tonight’s festivities should encase the Cayman spirit.
‘We want to welcome everyone to experience a cultural Caribbean vibe and listen to talented reggae artists right here from Cayman like Stuart and powerful tunes such as ‘what is it you represent?’ whilst on the beach, which for some reason rarely happens, in true one-345 style.
‘[Some have asked why we should do this.] We say why not? We live in Cayman! The beach is our home. Let’s make it happen.’
Moxam considers the social event a perfect welcome party to the visiting players and to the public in regards to flag football.
He went on to talk about the importance of the camp to Cayman’s youth.
‘The youth camp is the highlight of the weekend where we hope to see so many talented kids and future professional athletes of tomorrow come out and showcase their skills and talents.
‘Even if they have never played flag football before, parents should encourage their kids to get involved and be active in sports. Participating in sports is a true gateway to success in so many ways.
‘It can provide skills and disciplines that will shape your outlook on life and how you approach the various challenges that come your way. The people here in Cayman are no different in regards to an abundance of athletic ability that just needs to be structured and organized more efficiently from when they are young.’
Moxam also hopes to use the camp to introduce his new initiative called the Tink Again campaign.
The campaign deals with HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and domestic violence as it affects the lives of youth in Cayman and the Caribbean.
T-shirts with images related to the campaign are slated to be made available on the day of the camp.
The NFL stars arrive this afternoon. Their first stop is at a charity golf tournament and cocktail reception put on by John Felder.
The players will be here over the weekend and head back to the US on Tuesday. Aside from the gluttony of social gatherings on their itinerary, the players are expected to meet with government officials to talk about a proposed youth summit being aimed for the Easter holidays by One 345 Designs Executive Director Luigi Moxam.
Moxam says he is confident the players will leave Cayman impressed.
‘This weekend the players will participate in observing drills and talent here in Cayman and take time to talk to the kids about the importance of being a great student athlete because one day, most kids will become professionals in something other than a sport.
‘I am confident they will go back home and tell everyone about how much they loved Cayman.’
For more information on the summit and related festivities e-mail Luigi Moxam at [email protected].