GBFFL launches Youth Development League

JUNIOR FLAG FOOTBALL – The Grand Bahama Flag Football League has officially launched its 16-week long junior development program. The program continues this and every Saturday at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex at 10:00 a.m. The program caters to juniors ages 7-17 This past weekend the juniors were pictured going through quarterback and wide receiver drills. (PHOTOS: SHAYNE STUBBS)

Flag Football has come one of the fastest growing pastimes on Grand Bahama and in the country.

Now, the Grand Bahama Flag Football League is aiming to ensure the sport continues to grow in all levels.

This past Saturday, at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex, the GBFFL launched its Youth Football Program. The developmental venture caters to young persons ages 7-17.

Over 20 junior players showed up and were tested in various quarterback and wide receiver drills. The program is expected to run every Saturday over the next 16 weeks tentatively between the hours of 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m.

GBFFL Commissioner Stafford Albury spoke with members of the media and voiced bringing the juniors on board had been in the works for the past two years. Now that the league has the personnel in place, all parties involved thought it was finally time to give the juniors another outlet to participate in.

“We had a lot of children and a lot of parents that came to us and said it would be great if we could start a youth league and they would support it,” he expressed, “ And as you can see a lot of parents did bring their children out so we could get this league started.”

Albury furthered that teaching the fundamentals will be the primary focal point. When asked about how teams would be selected, the Commissioner noted that they are currently working on a draft system, and noted that there are already a few teams ready to join.

“We were looking at Jack Hayward School, they have a team they want to bring out - also, St. George’s and Sunland. Once you bring your team that’s great but if you just step into the arena we’re going to have to put you in a draft.

“We have a draft system that we’re currently working on right now. So any young kids who want to come in they’ll go into the draft and we’ll draft them onto another team so they can play.”

GBFFL president Craig Smith addressed that the reason behind getting the junior league started was due the maintenance of the adult league, while also searching for sponsors of the junior league.

Smith furthered that with other islands facilitating their own young adults league, it’s time for Grand Bahama to get up to speed.

“We really want to get these kids ready because Nassau and Abaco and Exuma have a junior league going,” he stated, “In November we want to take down a few teams to Abaco for their junior tournament.

“We also want to form a league here so we could get the kids going like a feeder league to the GBFFL.”

Nonetheless, the GBFFL president was happy about this past Saturday’s turn out and looked forward to seeing the participation grow in the coming weeks.

“But I’m happy about the turn out today. I figure it’s going to get bigger because more people will become aware about it.

“With communities, we’ll go into Hunter’s – we were supposed to have kids from there bussed in. We bussed in some from Eight Mile Rock this morning and we’ll just keep doing that to try and get everybody out.”

Smith added that there is a big need for Corporate Grand Bahama to lend their support to the junior league.

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