Hello SAFL Community !
I hope this message finds everyone in good health and spirits. In order to adapt to the ever changing landscape in Singapore, there are some changes I need to share about the Football & Cheer programs run by the SAFL. This is the initial announcement and more information will follow over the next two weeks via email, Facebook, Instagram and on our SAFL Website.
After a successful pilot program in the spring where we had players from 11 different International & Singapore local schools, we will now run youth flag football with two seasons and multiple programs. Season 1 will run from Sept to Early November while Season 2 will run from Feb to early April. For Season 1 (Autumn) we will run two flag programs at two separate field locations. One program will be focused towards the SAS elementary students and executed as part of the SAS ECA program framework. A second program (Island Conference) will be run on Saturdays and open to all students island wide ages 10-17. For Season 2 (Feb-April), we will run a single program. This is the first time in league history we look to run two programs at two different locations so I am sure we will face some small challenges along the way. I ask for your support and we will work it out together.
After decades of having side-line cheer with hundreds of participants cheering our teams, we now face a very difficult decision on how to proceed. In collaboration with our supporters at the Singapore American School, we have decided to make changes to our SAFL cheer program. As interests of the participants have changed over the years towards competitive cheer programs, we need to adapt as well. We have made the difficult decision to end our SAFL side-line cheer program. The Singapore American School will take this forward and offer a competitive cheer program which will be open to ALLstudents from across the island as part of their community based activity program.
For the 2019/2020 school calendar we also have changes to our tackle/contact football program. In order to maximize the potential pool of athletes across the island, we are changing our dates and field location of our World Conference (HS contact) program. The season dates for the next season will now be from February – April. We are working with Singapore Active SG to secure fields which are more central to the Island. The change in dates opens up a new pool of players from various competing school varsity sports. Our season will now start after soccer/basketball/volleyball/cross country/rugby seasons have finished. The second reason for this shift is to align our season to other international programs which will make scheduling home/away international games much easier. Youth tackle football is growing across Europe and their seasons are primarily from January to April. Other programs in Dubai & Australia also run their programs in the months from Jan-April. This April the Cobham Cougars from the UK will join SAFL in Dubai for international competition. Both clubs will visit Singapore in spring 2021 while we will look for a trip to either Australia or Europe.
Another change to contact football is for our middle school aged players (National Conference). Last season we were 8 players short of running a proper contact season and kudos to the 16 players which geared up for every session and games . Based on the numbers from last season, we are temporarily suspending the middle school tackle program for 2020. We will be reaching out to the community to test the interest & commitment for a middle school contact season for February 2020. If we get the commitment from 25+ players, we will seriously consider holding a contact season for the middle school age players in February 2020. If we do not reach these numbers, do not worry, the U14 Island Flag program will allow you to develop your skills and enjoy the game year round.
I know these are a lot of structural changes to the league and the decisions which have been made were very difficult. A focus group of coaches & volunteers had multiple meetings to discuss each of these areas, so these decisions were not made in isolation. I ask for your support in the weeks ahead as we start a new chapter in youth football here in Singapore for the next 40 years.
More information will follow over the next two weeks via email, Facebook, Instagram and on our SAFL Website.