The International Women’s Flag Football Association is now registering teams for their upcoming annual tournament. The 2017 Kelly McGillis Classic International Women and Girls’ Flag Football Championship comes to Key West for its 26th year January 26–30 with a full schedule of events beginning on January 23. IWFFA is sponsored by the Florida Keys Tourist Development Council.
IWFFA President Diane Beruldsen has just concluded an international promotional tour bringing her love of flag football, women’s fellowship and an invitation to join IWFFA in their annual gathering of flag football enthusiasts. Hundreds of women and girls of all ages came out to greet Beruldsen as she hosted drills and scrimmages to promote the sport from Santa Barbara to Brooklyn, Guatemala to Denmark and places in between. Enthusiasm for the game was high in Cuba, as well. Beruldsen has traveled teaching fundamentals, playing in tournaments and building community among women. Said Beruldsen, “In seven days, these women learned how to play flag football — running, passing, blocking plays, quarterbacks calling their own plays.”
IWFFA’s mission states, “Our mission is to provide an opportunity for all females regardless of race, nationality, age, skill level, economic status or sexual orientation to enjoy healthy competition, have fun, develop teamwork skills, learn fair play, good sportship, create new teams and unify exciting teams and leagues to help grow and organize the sport.”
Now in its 26th year, the Kelly McGillis Classic continues to attract competitors from across the globe. The tournament’s celebrity namesake, Kelly McGillis, is a major supporter of IWFFA’s goals, which include promoting the educational process, building self esteem, and enhancing leadership skills on and off the field to help women compete in the business and political world. In the past McGillis has shown her own leadership as grand marshal of the Annual Kelly McGillis Players Parade, as well as meeting and cheering on visiting teams.
The 2017 Kelly McGillis Classic promises to be the tournament’s biggest year yet. Team registrations are exceeding previous years’ enrollment. And there’s room for many more. Women and girls aged 9 years and up can compete in beginners, middle and higher divisions, and the girls division. Teams of 5-on-5, 7-on-7 and 8-on-8 are guaranteed to play 4 games.
The social calendar for the event is also full of exciting opportunities. Flag football clinics, social events, water sports, fundraising activities and, of course, parties, are always a big attraction. Spectators are invited to participate in halftime games like wheel barrel races, bed races, tug-o-war and tandem bicycle races, in addition to more traditional events like punt, pass and kick contests with prizes to the winners. The last tournament featured a popular new event, “So you think you can Act?”, a judge panel competition where participants male and female perform scenes from famous stage plays under the direction of Kelly McGillis herself.
To see video of IWFFA’s Cuba trip as well as other cities and nations, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/IWFFA/.
To register for the 2017 Kelly McGillis Classic International Women and Girls’ Flag Football Championship, visit www.iwffa.com. For additional details, phone Beruldsen at (305) 896-8678 or email [email protected].