A New Year means a new chance for local youngsters to hit the field and pull flags.
Since introducing the youth league within the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, the competition has nearly doubled in players when compared to the original number of 130 footballers in 2009.
The Security Center Youth League currently boasts 13 teams spread across three co-ed age categories: juniors are 7-9 years of age, middles are 10-12 years and seniors are 13-16 years old with an expected increase in teams for the current season.
Games are slated to be held on Saturdays at Camana Bay, beginning this Saturday 5 February, and ending on 27 March.
Last year saw a number of clubs emerge on top. The Saints claimed the senior division title, the Al La Kebab Titans nabbed their second straight championship in the middle division and the Walkers Wolverines are the defending junior division winners.
Youth league Coordinator Kyle Broadhurst credits the steady rise of young footballers in the Cayman Islands to the growing success of flag football within the country as well as the overall popularity of the National Football League.
“The Security Centre Youth Flag Football league has been a runaway success,” Broadhurst said. “When we started it we had no idea what the reaction of the community would be. The response to it has been over-whelming.”
Along with the growing number of players, the league is also looking for volunteer coaches to accommodate the increasing number of teams. Broadhurst went on to say that in the last year there has been lots of additional kids looking to play.
“We created more teams and again reached capacity with 180 children. This year we expect to have well over 200 children, boys and girls, participating in the league and from all the emails I get from parents, I know that the children are just as excited as we are.”
Those interested to volunteer as coaches are encouraged to email [email protected] All levels of coaching experience are welcome.
The Youth League also contributes their success to community support from sponsors such as the Security Center (who are overall sponsors of the league) as well as team sponsors Al la Kebab, Burger King, Broadhurst LLC, Strategic Risk Solutions and Dart Cayman Islands.
Registration forms can be found online at ciffa.ky or parents can register children this Saturday 5 February at the Camana Bay field. Registration is CI$10 per player and includes a team jersey.