Jan's leap into flag is paying off

The thriving flag football scene welcomed Tyanna Jan into its fold this season, and the Trinidadian speedster immediately made a huge impact. 

Since arriving in Cayman in January, Jan initially played soccer for Elite Sports Club and when the season ended, plunged into flag for the first time, joining Maples Lynx. 

She really only took up flag to maintain fitness but has quickly fallen in love with the sport and is really glad to have met a new social circle, as well as learn a new skill set. The leap has paid off on many levels. 

She plays on offense as a running back and on defense as a linebacker, corner or safety. 

“We had a rocky start to the season, but I think we are finally hitting our stride and are ready for the playoffs,” Jan said. 

“Women’s flag has grown rapidly in Cayman and like any sport, one major way to improve it would be increased facilities and funding to help keep it growing. The more people that get involved, the higher the level of competition will be.” 

Jan also plays softball and although exceptionally active, she does not really have any serious sporting ambitions. 

“I just want to keep participating and enjoying them as long as I am able,” she said. 

She has been involved in a variety of sports from a young age. Every summer Jan was enrolled in a different summer camp and her parents were always back and forth driving her to different classes. 

“My true passion is football, though, and I had to beg my parents to allow me to join my brother’s team at age 7, but I’ve also participated in triathlons, tennis, softball, basketball, cross country, volleyball, ballet, tap dancing, gymnastics, golf and scuba diving. I love being active and trying new things.” 

The 23-year-old legal secretary works for attorney Natasha N. Bodden and has settled into Cayman life smoothly. Her sporting heroes are legendary footballers Zinedine Zidane and Mia Hamm. “Zidane inspired me to start playing football in the first place and Mia Hamm was an excellent female role model,” she said. 

Jan likes the energy of the Cayman flag scene as it steadily grows. To expand it, she suggests involving children from a young age, although there is already a flourishing youth league. 

“I don’t think there are any flag programs in schools at the moment,” she said, “but having kids involved from a young age would grow the sport greatly.” 

Although the consensus is that Cayman has an excellent sporting setup, Jan feels there are not enough well-maintained facilities. 

“I would love to see a sporting arena built that would house facilities for a variety of sports on a large scale so that teams can have adequate training time and space.” She would also like to see Cayman invest in bigger facilities so that hosting more international tournaments would be possible, thereby boosting sports tourism revenue. 

She is looking forward to the playoffs starting next week and the softball and football seasons. 

Mia Hamm is one of Jan’s sporting idols. – PHOTO: AP

Jan has adapted to flag quickly.

Jan has adapted to flag quickly.

Tyanna Jan

Tyanna Jan’s catching has made her invaluable for Maples Lynx. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD