From next Saturday,4 May, 18-25 year olds in Bristol will have their chance to try a new sport with the launch of the Bristol Barracuda American football club’s ‘Get into American Football’ scheme.
The 90 minute sessions will take place at the Bristol University Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health on Tyndall Avenue, and will see the Cuda offering eight free weekly taster sessions for young men and women to learn and play the non-contact flag version of the sport. The sessions will culminate in participants competing in a tournament to crown the first Bristol Cuda Flag champions.
The club have partnered with Wesport, Sportivate and UBU Active to open its doors to those aged 18-25 to come and try the fast paced and non-contact version of American football for free. Both men and women can play, and no experience or special equipment is required to take part. Coaches will be on hand to guide new players through learning the basic skills, allowing them to start playing games almost straight away.
The scheme is an expansion of the Barracuda community outreach programme which has seen players and coaches from the club teaching the game to school children throughout Bristol. The Bristol Barracuda have been involved with the local community since 2009, with players regularly heading to schools to teach flag football and raise awareness of the sport. The club recently took part in their fifth annual Bristol Festival of School Sports in collaboration with RELAYS and the University of Bristol, which sees 1,300 children from 20 different secondary schools trying out new sports over three days each spring.
James Gilchrest, Barracuda Community Officer said: “Flag football is easy and fun to play. Once players are taught to throw and catch an American football, they are pretty much ready to play. Instead of wearing protective equipment, players wear belts with detachable flags similar to Tag Rugby, and tackling is achieved by pulling off an opposing player’s flag.
“The game is designed to be enjoyable and simple to learn, while encouraging teamwork and coordination in addition to the health benefits of regular exercise. We’re looking for people of all fitness levels and ability to join in, with the emphasis on taking part in a sociable activity that anyone can enjoy.”
Phil Fear, Director of Operations at Bristol Barracuda added: “Everyone at the Cuda is looking forward to next week when we’ll be bringing flag football to as many people across Bristol as possible. The financial support of Sportivate backing, along with help from Wesport and UBU Active has given us the opportunity to take the game further afield and gives us another chance to give something back to the community.
“We hope that people take the chance to try out a new sport, meet new people and overall have fun. All equipment is provided so you only need to bring yourself, come along to the Centre for Sport next Saturday to join in and find out more.”