July is National Park and Recreation Month and, in celebration, the Miami- Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department will present the Mayor’s Cup Flag Football Tournament for boys and girls, ages 14 and under.
Divisional qualifiers will kick off on July 19 in the north and south regions of the county at Amelia Earhart Park and Southridge Park.
Youth football leagues and clubs are invited to compete in the more than two weeks of flag football action, culminating in the Mayor’s Cup Flag Football Championship Tournament — the “Miami Football Festival” at Tropical Park on July 26.
The annual festival is a free family event that celebrates the power of football to unite the community and improve lives. Partnering sponsors include the University of Miami Athletic Department, Orange Bowl Committee, Soccer 5 Foundation, Up2Us, and The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade. The events are part of the Youth Sports Championship Series, an initiative of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez aimed at increasing participation in youth athletics.
Park locations are Amelia Earhart Park, 401 E. 65 St. in Hialeah; Southridge Park, 11250 SW 192 St., and Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St.
As a father, grandfather and lifetime advocate of the long-term health benefits of regular exercise for children, Mayor Gimenez knows first-hand the values developed from continuous involvement in athletics.
“Youth sporting events, such as the Mayor’s Cup Flag Football Tournament, provide opportunities for children to learn and compete in a sport, as well as enhance their selfesteem, social development and fitness level,” the mayor said. “Good sportsmanship, teamwork, responsibility, and discipline, are the life lessons of sports that will stay with these young athletes into adulthood.”
The Mayor’s Cup Flag Football Tournaments will be held in a “7-on-7” format and by age groups: “14 and under,” “12 and under” and “10 and under.” Coed teams are welcome to participate. The cost to register a team is $125. Team registration fees will support the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade’s efforts for the youth sports development component of Miami-Dade County Parks’ Fit2Play after-school and summer camp programs.
Everyone is invited to attend the Miami Football Festival at Tropical Park on July 26. Activities will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public is invited to watch the Mayor’s Cup championship playoffs and enjoy the football clinic, kids’ area, food truck vendors, displays, and giveaways. At 3 p.m., the Mayor’s Cup awards will be presented at the park’s football stadium.