The Cayman Islands Kids Gaelic Football Club will host a “Start of Season Blitz” from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Camana Bay CIS football pitch, for children between the ages of 5 and 18.
The free event will include training skill sets for each age group and will culminate in a round robin of games. The event is open to all children who have not played before as well as to those who attended the inaugural games last year.
Organizers said in a press release: “Please note: Parents are asked that children come with the following: trainers or football boots; no flip-flops; and bring water, hat and sunscreen. Children participating MUST be accompanied by an adult. This will be strictly enforced on the day.”
The training will start with a basic warm-up for all players, followed by a quick, fun game to get everyone familiar with catching and throwing the Gaelic football. The coaching will then move on to learning a couple of specific techniques used in Gaelic football, followed by a chance to practice these new skills in drills. To further develop these practices, a short, fun-orientated game for each age group will take place to challenge the players to incorporate their new skills into the team play environment. Finally, a competitive game will close the session.
With a growing interest in Gaelic football across the school ages, in May 2016 the Cayman Islands Kids Gaelic Football Club Committee was established to introduce and develop the game for youth across the Cayman Islands.
During the summer, a number of coaching sessions took place, followed by challenge matches and involvement in local summer camps. This started with two training practices for 35 children of Senior Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club members in May and June. The skills learned were put to the test with the challenge fixtures for U9s and U14s on the Senior Club Finals Day in June.
Over the school holidays, the committee provided six Gaelic Football coaching sessions at two summer camps at the Camana Bay Multi-Sports Camp in July, where more than 150 children participated, and the YMCA Summer Camp in August, where more than 90 children participated.
To build the knowledge to develop Gaelic football skills among children across Cayman, the press release states, the club secured the services of Colm Egan, full-time games development officer from the North American Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), to deliver the GAA Certified Foundation Level Coaching course in October.
The course provided parents, players, teachers, volunteers and sports coaches with the competencies required to introduce Gaelic football skills to all ages. Colm “has delivered this course in clubs across North America to great success, and we are now proud to say that we have 25 GAA certified coaches within our club,” the press release states.
Last year, Kids Gaelic Club events reached more than 300 participants, according to the press release.
To register your child for the training on Feb. 11, please fill out the registration form in full before 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. No registrations will be accepted on the day. Register online at www.caymangaa.com/kidsgaelicclub. For more information, contact the Kids Gaelic Club Committee at [email protected]