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NFL Flag football children's programme expands nationwide

Already a success in London, NFL UK's training scheme is spreading around the country

Posted by Julian Owen | November 24, 2017 | Sports & leisure

Osi Umenyiora, the two-time Super Bowl champion and star of the BBC's NFL coverage, together with Yorkshire cricketers Jack Brooks and Steven Patterson, have launched the expansion of NFL UK’s Flag football programme across the UK.

Umenyiora made a star appearance at John Charles Sports Centre in Leeds, one of the first regions to join the new programme. In tandem with Subway, the scheme aims to “bring the NFL closer to everyone and encourage families to get fit and active”. It has been running in London since 201,4 with more than 11,000 children involved since its launch.

The first stage of UK expansion will be rolled out to Leeds and Birmingham, due to their successful University American Football programmes, with the view to expand further in 2018.

Umenyiora said: “NFL Flag is a great way to introduce children to the game, teaching them the importance of working together as a team and educating them on how nutrition plays such an important part in achieving a healthier lifestyle. We didn’t have anything like NFL Flag when I was starting to play, and I look forward to my kids playing this when they are old enough.”

“The impact that the American Football activities have made on our pupils has been incredible.'

Jason Brisbane, Head of Community for NFL UK, said: “It is very special to be beginning the expansion of NFL Flag across the UK and Ireland to a wider group of schools. One of our main aims is to get as many children to experience American Football as possible, while taking key skills around teamwork and sportsmanship off the field into every part of their school and private lives.”

Josh Levenson, Deputy Head Teacher of St Andrews Catholic Primary School, Streatham, said: “The impact that the American Football activities have made on our pupils has been incredible. It has helped develop key characteristics including perseverance, integrity and commitment, broken down behavioural barriers, and encouraged those previously inspired in sport to get involved.

“Pupils have gone on to win pan-London competitions, played at Twickenham Stadium during the NFL London Games, and appeared in several TV documentaries to help articulate their passion for the sport. A real success story!” 

For the opportunity to become an NFL Flag school, visit https://www.nfluk.com/events/subway-schools.html to register your interest.

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