(CNS Local Life): The Cayman Islands Kids Gaelic Football Club will host a “Start of Season Blitz” on Saturday, 11 February, from 9:30am-11:30am at Cayman International School, comprising skills training for various age groups followed by a round robin of matches. The free event, for youngsters ages 5-18, is for first-time players as well as those who attended last year’s inaugural games.
The training will start with a basic warm-up for all players, followed by a quick game to familiarise everyone with catching and throwing the Gaelic football. The coaching will then move on to teaching some techniques specific to the sport, followed by a chance to practice the new skills in drills. To further develop these skills, each age group will take part in a short, fun-orientated game to challenge the players to incorporate what they learned into the team play environment. Finally, a competitive game will close the session.
With a growing interest in the sport across all school ages, in May 2016 the Cayman Islands Kids Gaelic Football Club Committee was established to introduce and develop the game across the Cayman Islands.
Over the summer months, a number of coaching sessions took place, followed by challenge matches and two local camps, in July and August, which drew 150 and 90 youngsters, respectively.
To build the knowledge to develop Gaelic football skills amongst children across Cayman, the club brought in Colm Egan, a 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 coaches with the competencies required to introduce Gaelic football skills to all ages, and included both theoretical and practical elements. Egan has taught the course in clubs across North America and his sessions in Cayman produced 25 GAA certified coaches within the local club.
For the upcoming event, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Parents are asked that each participant wears trainers or football boots (no flip flops), and brings water, a hat and sunscreen.