Grassroots appeal to 500 kids

The Maples Grassroots Football Programme has just ended and officials and organizers are pleased with the attendance and overall standard of improvement shown by the players. 

The 2013-14 Grassroots initiative concluded on Saturday at the John A. Cumber Primary in West Bay and in Cayman Brac at the Bluff Sports Field. 

Cayman Islands Football Association First-Vice President Bruce Blake said, “Congratulations to the coaches, parents and players and a big thank you to Maples and Calder for their continued sponsorship of the Maples Grassroots Programme. 

“The CIFA executive is buoyed by the commitment shown by all involved and encouraged by the large turnouts weekly.” 

Since starting in January 2013, the Grassroots project has created programs reaching all districts, with 32 coaches and six supervisors. More than 500 children registered for the initiative which incorporated participants aged 4-12 and included primary schools. The sessions maintained a 75 percent average monthly attendance by the players, a statistic that Grassroots Project Manager Darrel Rankine is proud of. 

“To maintain the interest of the players and parents and to see how keen they were even at the final festival is testament to the quality of the coaches and fun elements of the programme,” Rankine said. 

The season ended with a vibrant festival with almost 300 children in attendance, producing a showcase of talent, energy and skill. 

“The festival is an opportunity for all the boys and girls in the program to come together in one setting with all the coaches. It was a great finale, despite the heat, it was obvious the kids enjoyed the play and each other,” Rankine said. The program restarts in September. 

Rankine added, “The program is still finding its roots but I believe it is moving in the right direction. The future of football in these islands looks good from this level.” 

Blake supported those sentiments and said, “Our children have a love for the sport and want to play football at every opportunity. If we continue to nurture such passion, the future of the game in the Cayman Islands looks bright.” 


The grassroots program featured talent in West Bay. – PHOTO: MATTHEW YATES