Dart High School Football Leagues kick-off this week

Former CUC Primary Football League standouts Cameron Smith (blue) and Alejandro Holness (red) will meet again in the Dart Under 13 Boys’ High School League.

After nearly two years of planning, the Dart Under 13 Boys’ and Under 14 Girls’ High School football leagues kick-off this week with girls’ games on Wednesday, 4 October and boys’ games on Thursday, 5 October.

Sponsored exclusively by Dart, the leagues have been specifically designed to assist with the development of youth football in Grand Cayman. Games will be played during the week immediately after school and will continue until Wednesday, November 22nd and Thursday November 23rd.

“We are committed to youth development in the Cayman Islands and are delighted to be able to support this new football league enabling high school students to continue to benefit from a structured and well-run school football programme,” said Dart’s Vice President of Community Development Chris Duggan.

“We commend the organisers for arranging this new league and we look forward to our continued participation in the growth and development of youth football in our community.”

High schools participating in the leagues include Clifton Hunter High School, John Gray High School, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Triple C, Cayman Prep & High School, Cayman International School and Cayman Academy.

Venues include fields at the Clifton Hunter High School, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Cayman International School (Dart Field), Cayman Prep High School and the Annex Field and CIFA Centre of Excellence.

Organisers said they hope to emulate the various schoolboy leagues that are played in many of the Caribbean Islands, particularly the Manning and Dacosta Cups in Jamaica and the Secondary School Football League in Trinidad & Tobago. The local schools will be competing for the Dart Cup.

The blueprint for the local high school football leagues includes eventually establishing three age groups for the boys (Under 13, Under 15 and Under 18) and a minimum of two leagues for the girls.

“One significant improvement for high school football in the Cayman Islands that is not widely seen in other Caribbean islands, is the addition of leagues for girls, which will primarily aid in the increase of girls participating in the local club leagues overseen by the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA),” organisers said.

“CIFA’s full support of the Dart Under 13 and Under 14 leagues is evident by the fact that the CIFA Under 11 and Under 13 girls and boys youth leagues will not begin until mid-January 2018, thus focussing full attention on primary and high school football between September and December,” a statement added.

Games scheduled for this Wednesday in the Dart Under 14 Girls’ League include John Gray High School (JGHS) vs. Cayman International School (CIS) Blue at the Annex Field; Clifton Hunter High School (CHHS) vs. CIS White at CHHS; Triple C vs. St. Ignatius at the CIFA Centre of Excellence and Cayman Prep United vs. Cayman Prep City at Cayman Prep High School.

Games to be played on Thursday in the Dart Under 13 Boys’ League include JGHS Sevens vs. Cayman Prep at the Annex Field; JGHS Eights vs. Triple C at the CIFA Centre of Excellence; CHHS vs. Cayman Academy at CHHS; and CIS vs. St. Ignatius at St. Ignatius.

Apart from Dart, several companies and individuals have contributed to the organisation of these leagues, namely Union Heavy Equipment & Transportation (UHET), Jernat Heavy Equipment & Transportation (JHET), Barnes Bus Transport and Smith’s Transport.

“Local club youth coaches are encouraged to attend the games for recruitment purposes to view players eligible to play in the CIFA youth leagues and students from all the participating schools are urged to cheer on their respective schools,” organisers added.

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