In October 2018, Aura’s Sports Development team made contact with the National Football League (NFL) regarding the establishment of a Flag Football programme here in North Wales.
Soon after, teachers and students of local Flintshire schools were invited to attend an NFL course in February 2019 to give them more of an insight into Flag Football. The schools which took part were then able to sign up for the regional NFL festival where they received 20 tag belts and 15 footballs exclusively from the NFL. A 12 week programme was then delivered to the local schools.
In June 2019, the regional festival was hosted with 12 local primary schools taking part. All the children who attended showed great enthusiasm and played fantastically! The winning team was Ysgol Gwynedd who went on to compete in the National Championships held at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium. The students travelled down to London, and took part in NFL activities with the other competing schools, before taking to the field!
On the day of the event, professional American Football player – Samson Ebukam – joined the students on the pitch to offer his encouragement during the games. Ysgol Gwynedd played amazingly, winning 3 games in the group stage as well as winning the quarter and semi-final games, finishing second overall in the final with just one point between them and the winning team. The school deserves huge recognition for representing Flintshire and all of Wales as the only Welsh team to compete.
William Broster, Sports Development officer, said: “my personal involvement so far has included bridging the gap between NFL and Flintshire schools, as well as helping to organise courses and venues for festivals. All of this has been done with the purpose of introducing primary students in Flintshire to a new and exciting sport. Knowing that American Football is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, I personally knew there would be some interest within local schools, but I could not have imagined the amount of teachers and students on the courses: the whole experience has been incredible.”
Moving forward, Aura’s Sports Development team is keen to work alongside the Chester Romans American Football Team to set up a club at Deeside Leisure Centre for the benefit of children in the community who have enjoyed the programme. It is Aura’s hope to increase the number of schools taking part in the regional festival, together with number of teachers/coaches who are trained within Flintshire.
Well done to Aura’s Sports Development team for all their hard work and determination to get local schools involved in this new and exciting sport, and huge congratulations to Ysgol Gwynedd on their fantastic achievement!