Women’s American football
Some of you may be familiar with the more well-known flavours of American Football. The NFL, Canadian Football League and maybe even the UK men’s britball programme.
Less well known but about to be thrust into the spotlight is Women’s American Football. The full-contact version in the UK is normally played over the winter in the Sapphire series made up of 7 a side teams playing multiple games at each venue. Last year I was lucky enough to attend 2 of the 11 a side games in Birmingham when the Birmingham Lions played the Helsinki Wolverines and the New York Sharks in a round-robin competition. The standard is high and the crowd really got into the spectacle hosted by Birmingham University.
The images illustrating this piece are taken from those games
The European Championship 2019
Next week (12-17 August 2019) the John Charles Stadium in Leeds becomes home to the International Federation of American Football’s Women’s European Championship.
The event takes place on Monday Wednesday and Saturday with one game kicking off at 3 pm and the second at 7 pm. The GB games are all 7 pm kickoffs.
This year’s participants are Austria, Finland ( reigning champions), Great Britain and Sweden. They will play each other in a round-robin tournament. Her’s the fixtures:-
Monday 12 August 2019
1500 Finland V Austria
1900 Great Britain V Sweden
Wednesday 14 August 2019
1500 Finland V Sweden
1900 Great Britain V Austria
Saturday 17 August 2019
1500 Sweden V Austria
1900 Great Britain V Finland
I did wonder about the light for the 1900 games but I had it pointed out to me by some of the players that it means GB supporters can get there without most having to take a day of work. It’s nice and easy off the M1.
Great Britain has amassed a collection of talent from across the country including some of our Birmingham Lions. One of whom, Ruth Matta, has just returned from playing for the Boston Renegades in the USA.
If you are into your American Football why not check out these games, if you’re not why not take a look anyway and see what it’s all about. You might fancy joining either of the men’s or women’s programmes in the UK from Under 16’s upwards. As with any sport, noisy crowd support encourages the teams on so come along and make a noise.
I’m lucky enough to have been granted pitchside media access so I’ll have some images when I come back.
To read more about the event our friends at Double Coverage have created an event website. Check out IFAF Women’s European Championship 2019 or click on the pictures
Follow this hashtag on Twitter
Look forward to seeing some of our readers there. Remember #WECLeeds2019 on social media.