Raptors’ Dorset success continues!

16/7/2018 and the Jurassic Coast Raptors continue their sustained and motivated efforts to make American Flag Football part of the school sport landscape in Dorset. At Sturminster Park High School, during their Activities Week, a group of 29 mixed-ability a youngsters (15 boys and 14 girls) experienced an American Football ‘mini-camp’. Starting the day with a traditional stretch, warm-up and running drills, they were challenged to experience one of the ‘Combine’ tests that prospective NFL players must go through in order to be possibly picked by one of the teams in the ‘Draft’. After catching and throwing skills were introduced, the boys took on the girls in the primary-school Challenge Card activity of ‘TCR’ (Throw, catch and Run). The next session worked on basic routes with the game-quarterbacks beginning to emerge from the group. A session on kicking followed, with the youngsters having a go at the ‘Field Goal Challenge’ and ‘punting’. The day ended with them playing 5v5 games, rotating the teams so that each team had frequent rest and water, due to the very hot weather. Observing teachers were able to see the true value of the sport – not just in things like encouraging discipline on the snap, but most importantly of all how this sport, like no-other, encourages vital communication skills whilst the game is being played. As a game of ‘set-pieces’ each play must be planned, evaluated and discussed, strategies developed to beat the defence and to maximise the offense. Plays can be generated that are cunning and creative, exciting and fun. Such communication skills are seen even in Yr4 youngsters playing this sport! Based, as it is on ‘fair-play’ (both structurally and philosophically), it is the quintessential ‘school sport’, offering everything a school would like to develop in its learners. With the launch of BAFA’s official ‘School Games’ oriented Wheelchair American Flag Football format (a new inclusive, version of the sport that requires players to be in wheelchairs but not necessarily to be wheelchair users), it is hoped that schools will see the benefits and adaptability of this sport and how it can benefit both youngster and school alike. For further information and support email: schools@britishamericanfootball.org/