Double Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora joined Yorkshire cricketers Jack Brooks and Steven Patterson to help launch the expansion of NFL UK’s Flag football programme across the UK, in partnership with the Subway brand.
The programme has been running in London since 2014 with more than 11,000 children involved since its launch. The initiative aims to help primary school children develop their characters by focusing on the NFL's core values: respect, integrity, responsibility, resilience, and the importance of getting active.
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. Currently, Leeds Beckett, Brunel and the University of Birmingham have signed up to provide NFL ambassadors, with more universities to follow, with ambassadors from Leeds Beckett and Manchester Metropolitan universities leading the launch activity.
Osi Umenyiora, two-time Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants, 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 too 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.”
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.”
Sacha Clark, marketing director for Subway UK & Ireland, said: “Our partnership with the NFL is all about bringing the NFL closer to everyone, and one of the ways we’re helping to do this is by enabling the NFL to extend its Flag programme, taking it into schools to encourage everyone in the family to get active.”