West Sussex prep school Windlesham House has officially become a National Football League (NFL) Hub for the South East region. The school has committed to the use of its facilities and Astro field for the purposes of training and playing NFL Flag Football and is set to host regular tournaments as well as travelling alongside other schools in the region to play in the NFL official league. Training sessions happen on Saturday mornings and a new inclusive PE session has been included within the curriculum at Windlesham.
NFL Flag is the starting point for a possible journey into playing football professionally. As well as the regular football tournaments, there is the opportunity to qualify for a regional final played at Tottenham Hotspur in October 2022 during half time of the NFL Pro regular season game. The winners of that match will have the option to go to Florida to play the American finalists.
Becoming a regional Hub for the NFL is part of Windlesham’s drive to offer a more diverse range of sports to its pupils and to support the wider local pupil community. Pupils at the West Sussex prep school are being taught NFL Flag Football as part of the new curriculum programme and from a coaching perspective, this has been rolled out to a selection of Windlesham staff who are now fully certified.
Adrian Wallis-Adams, NFL Coach for Windlesham House explained, “Our goal, is to bring the local school community together, with an emphasis on state schools. We have launched our own League and other schools are able to play as part of this as well as enrol in the NFL Flag Football curriculum programme.”
Any school in the area can join the programme and being a co-educational sport, it has a much wider appeal. Certification is delivered through a one-day recognised PE staff training course. The NFL provides all of the training and curriculum material as well as free equipment. There is also no ongoing obligation or direct costs if you change your mind.
Windlesham is also planning some trips to support its local American football team, The Sussex Thunder, based at Sussex University, and has registered the school to attend the NFL regular season games, of which there are three scheduled for the Autumn of this year at Tottenham Hotspur and Wembley Stadium, and two further games are being played in Germany during November 2022.
Ben Evans, Headmaster at Windlesham House School said, “Following assessment by the NFL, we are delighted to have been appointed as a regional hub for the NFL. Diversity in sport has never been more important and this fun league provides both our pupils and the local community with some wonderful opportunities to train at a high level and to take their talent further afield.”
For local schools interested in getting involved, they are invited to send two PE teachers for training and will receive a 1st 4 Sport accredited qualification in NFL Flag Football as well as 10 official balls, 30 official flag belts, 6-week NFL Flag Football curriculum pack, and the opportunity to join the official NFL Flag League.
Mr Wallis-Adams concluded, “Windlesham hosted the first of many NFL Flag Football training sessions for PE staff back in March, which was hugely popular and very over-subscribed. We have already put a further date in our diary for September this year.”