Calderdale Locomotives on the lookout for new players to join its American Flag Football team
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Calderdale Locomotives are an American Flag Football team, and is open to all genders.
American Flag Football is a rapidly growing sport in the UK and uses the classic rules of American football, with the contact tackling being replaced with flag belts which act as a signal of a tackle when they are removed from an opposing player.
The sport is on track to be introduced as an Olympic event in 2028.
Chris Newbould, general manager of the Calderdale Locomotives, said: "We've been in full swing practice and drills wise for a good four months now, and although we have a strong set of players, coming from a range of abilities and experience, we are struggling, despite efforts, to attract more ladies to the sport.
"We hope to grow and grow, have started to arrange friendlies, and to hopefully join a league by next year.
"It isn't that well known in our area, but is massively growing internationally.
"We’re all massive NFL fans, and this gave me a desire to investigate more about flag football, and as I delved further, and started to use social media, I met Matt Micklethwaite, who had spent many years playing flag football for the Manchester Titans, and had toured around the country playing in various tournaments.
"He was over the moon that I had the initiative to start a team up in the Calderdale area, and has joined us as head coach.
"Through social media, we have grown the team ever since. We currently have 13 guys involved ranging from 16 and 19, up to 39, 40 in age.
"We have marketed ourselves enthusiastically to all genders, and currently only have guys on the team.
"I’d really like to see some girls come along and join us, with opportunities for male, female, and mixed tournaments, and eventually to develop a youth programme in the future.
"Flag football itself is growing massively in all countries, the NFL itself, one of the biggest businesses in America, has its own flag division.
"The sport is not only huge in America, but across the globe, every country is building on flag football, the 2022 world games hosted a competition where USA beat Italy in the men’s final, and Mexico beat USA in the women’s final."There is a strong push for flag football to be an Olympic sport at the LA 2028 Olympics, and we would love to be in a place to support the Great Britain squad should we develop our players enough in the next few years."
The team, who practice at Siddal Cricket Club, is not yet affiliated to a league, but hope to be joining one next year.
They are having their first ever friendly on September 25 against the Lancashire Bombers in Blackburn.
If you would like more information about the team, you can contact them on Facebook, or you can them at [email protected].