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Cardiff Education South Wales Sport

South Wales schools champions head to UK NFL Flag National Championship

SOUTH Wales three regional NFL Flag Champions, Llysfaen Primary School (Under 11s), Mary Immaculate (Under 13s) and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (Under 15 Girls) will go head-to-head against schools from across the UK today (June 26th), in a bid to be crowned 2024 UK NFL Flag National Champions.

2024’s national championship is set to be the biggest yet, with 28 schools competing and more than 260 participants taking to the field. The competition also saw strong growth across the country, with a total of 343 schools entering events at the local level, a 78% increase from 192 last year.

This year for the first time, the Girls U15 (Girls Secondary) championships will be introduced alongside, the Under 11 (Primary) and Under 13 (Mixed Secondary) tournaments, showcasing the accessibility of the sport and its popularity growing due to its fun and exciting action.

The schools secured their South Wales regional titles at one of ten regional championship events to be held across the UK this year. The victory also earned them the chance to compete alongside 27 other primary and secondary schools at the NFL Academy’s elite athletic performance centre at Loughborough University, where the UK champions will be crowned.

Since the birth of the NFL Flag programme in 2017, the game has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK. It is currently played in over 650 schools by 60,000 participants, with the aim to reach 100,000 by 2026.

Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Chris Long, NFL Head of Community and Grassroots Development, commented: “Thank you to all the schools from who have competed in this year’s championships at all levels. We are pleased to see participation and engagement with the sport of NFL Flag continue to grow year on year with more and more children being introduced at school.

“It’s a diverse sport that allows boys and girls from all backgrounds to participate together, and we look forward to welcoming all our finalists to Loughborough on June 26th.”

The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and the National Football League are investing in the development and growth of flag football at both grassroots and elite levels around the world, ahead of the sport’s inclusion at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028. Fast, highly accessible and inclusive, the non-contact format of the game is spearheading extraordinary growth in participation globally. Played by over 20 million people across 100 countries, women and girls are driving some of the fastest growth.

To find out more about the NFL Flag programme in the UK and how to get involved, please visit their website.