NFL youth flag football inter-school programme

| 23/09/2011

(GCFFA): A brand new inter-high-school competitive flag football league, the NFL Youth Programme, is being introduced to secondary schools on Grand Cayman.
As it is one of the country’s fastest growing sports, the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association (GCFFA) recognized the need for developing flag football amongst the youth. Dart Cayman Islands is supporting the initiative by funding the NFL Youth Programme, as well as the Women’s League, which will involve training camps with visiting NFL players and retired professionals.

By introducing the sport to high-schools,  the GCFFA’s aim is to expose more youth to flag football, help develop a sense of school pride, increase physical activity, and strengthen community and school relations.

With the support from Dart Cayman Islands, the initial fee required per player is CI$25, which will include an NFL reversible team-identified jersey and an NFL flag belt.

Joanne Lawson, Senior Manager of Organisational Development and Administration, said that “Dart Cayman Islands is very pleased to offer sponsorship to the GCFFA, in support of the Women’s and the up-and-coming Youth League. We believe that both leagues will create opportunities for women and youth to be involved in well-established local sports programmes. We look forward to creating a solid relationship with the GCFFA as they move forward.”

President of the GCFFA, Sophia Dilbert expressed the association’s thanks to Dart Cayman Islands for their support. “With their sponsorship and commitment to helping us develop a youth flag football programme, we are able to cover a majority of the costs associated with introducing flag to the schools. We believe that the NFL Youth Programme will be a fun way for teens to spend a Friday night and connect with students from other schools in a healthy and competitively friendly atmosphere.”

The NFL Youth Programme has been running 15 years strong in the United States. Cayman’s version will introduce a boy’s and girl’s 5-a-side league, and all players regardless of athletic ability, skill or knowledge of the game are encouraged to join a team and enjoy the game.

Each school team will actually mirror current NFL teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys or Greenbay Packers.  Teams will be run by volunteer coaches within the community and the fundamentals of the sport will be taught, as well as life-skill principles like team-work, accountability and sportsmanship.

Game nights, dubbed “Friday Night Lights” will be each week, with two schools competing against each other per night, starting with the girls at 6pm and the boys at 7pm. A “pep rally” atmosphere will be the feel of the nights, with sports fans and friends coming to the field to watch and engage in the friendly competition between the schools.
The GCFFA is currently in planning stages with many high-schools on Grand Cayman and is looking to begin the NFL Youth Programme this fall.


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