Kicking it at Academy’s Mini Slam

It was a day of competitive football and fun for the youngsters.

It was a day of fun and competition for U11 and U13 footballers on Saturday, 17 December, as Academy Sports Club hosted its inaugural Mini Slam 7v7 tournament.

The event was organised to give a boost to the current youth football environment with no competition slated for the CIFA U13 league until the first quarter of 2017.

“The ultimate objective is to get the kids to play, so they could develop [their skills]. The kids are not playing a lot of football right now, so we wanted to do this to give them something to get excited about,” said Paul Byles, who coaches Academy’s U13 and U15 footballers.

The tournament was played on the lush fields of Academy Sports Club in George Town.

“So, we wanted to put an event to allow those age groups to get some football before Christmas. I decided to do the seven-a-side because that would allow the clubs to put more than one team, where ever possible, so more kids could get a chance to play,” he told

Future FC, Savannah Tigers, Cayman Athletic Sports Club and Cayman Prep School joined the hosts in the competition, with around 125 footballers aged eight to 12 taking part. In all 12 teams played. Games featured two eight-minute halves and the offside rule was removed to encourage scoring.

U11 Mini Slam Champions Cayman Prep with Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden.

Cayman Prep won the U11 Mini Slam, with Tigers FC “A” the runners-up. Cayman Athletic Sports Club won the U13 title ahead of runners-up, Future FC.

The U11 Mini Slam top goal scorer was Jaxon Cover of Cayman Prep. Jacobbi Tugman of Academy Sports Club was the top scorer in the U13 Mini Slam. The Fair Play Award was presented to Caleb Winspear of Academy Sports Club.

U13 Mini Slam Champions Cayman Athletic with Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden.


“We thought it would be a lot of fun and with 58 goals scored in 384 minutes of football it seems to have worked out very well,” Byles said.

When he was approached with the idea of the tournament, Academy Sports Club’s director, Virgil Seymour, agreed it was a great plan and they got to work.

“The kids have been training since August and with CIFA putting off the Under-13 league, the kids didn’t have anything to do. So, we’ve been trying to figure out what we can do to keep them interested in football,” he said.

The Mini Slam gave young footballers a chance to get into the game.

Seymour said he was pleased with how the event turned out. “Very happy. The kids are enjoying themselves. They just want to play football. That’s what we want. We just want them to come and play,” he said.

“Academy congratulates all the teams and players for their outstanding performances throughout the tournament. The spirit and camaraderie among the players, coaches and parents was very positive.”

He said Academy Sports Club is planning more events of the kind as it leads the way in developing youth football on the island.

“This is just the beginning. We have something else coming up in January to keep the kids excited. We’re looking forward to all the exciting things that are about to happen in the club in the months to come,” Seymour told

Fair Play Award winner, Caleb Winspear, with Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden.

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