Monday, 25 March 2013

Interview with Josef Åhman

Interview with Josef Åhman

Double Coverage: Despite American football being the biggest sport in the USA, in most other parts of the world it's still at various levels in its development cycle. Was there any particular reason why FISU felt like now was the right time to add an American football WUC to the schedule?

Josef Åhman: It was IFAF who started this process some years ago. FISU has been positive throughout the process, since American football has a strong base in university sports. There is a process that new sports have to follow before they are accepted and American football filled all requirements. 

For example there are 100 university teams in Europe and 250 university teams in Asia. The Swedish University Sports Federation has a tradition of introducing new sports on the FISU program, so we have followed the process closely and decided to send in our candidature as soon as there was a possibility.

The First American Football World University Championship Announcement

 The 9th of March was a historic day for international and university American Football as the International University Sports Federation (FISU) announced a partnership with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) to put everyone’s beloved game onto the FISU sports programme.

Along with this announcement it was also revealed that the very first World University Championship (WUC) in American Football would be held in Uppsala, Sweden in 2014.

With the GB Students off to Uppsala on the 6th of April to face Sweden themselves, Double Coverage secured a couple of interviews with the key figures organising the event in Sweden to discover some specifics about the very first WUC and what that will mean for students in the future.

Ross Watson posed questions to both Martin Söderberg and Josef Åhman. Martin is the Project Manager of the WUC and a key figure within the Uppsala 86er organisation whilst Josef is the Secretary General of the Swedish University Sports Federation and has worked closely with the FISU in organising the event.

London Olympians Murray Dumas on the season ahead

London Olympians offensive coordinator Murray Dumas is anticipating an exciting season in store as the South Londoners look to move back among the American football elite in Great Britain.
The Olympians won the first of their back-to-back EuroBowl's 20 years ago and won the British title 10 out of 11 years from 1996-2006, but have seen crosstown rivals London Blitz, from north of the Thames, and London Warriors, from the west of the city, set themselves apart from the rest of the BAFA National League in recent seasons.

“With two teams, the Warriors and Blitz, they've got many coaches and players who have come from our club, when we were at the height, so those two teams particularly, practice well and prepare very well,” Dumas said. “A lot of teams over the last five years, from what I have seen, they've dropped back a little bit and now they're seeing the old ways of what we used to be coming through with the Warriors and Blitz and they saw that we've come back, they're now stepping up. This season should be very exciting.”

Dumas initially joined the Olympians in 1998, during their decade of dominance, and was with the club until 2007, before taking a five-year break and returning to the club last year and remembers the championship years with fondness.

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