Northampton schoolchildren to represent UK at flag football championships in USA

  • Lings Primary School are off to the USA after being crowned UK flag football champions, as Rob Halden-Pratt reports.

A group of UK schoolchildren will compete at a Super Bowl-style international championship in America after being crowned national winners.

Lings Primary School, from Northampton, won the national UK Flag Football competition, with the finals being played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 28 June.

As a result, the youngsters will represent the UK at the International Championships of the non-contact sport in the United States next February.

They will compete against up to 15 countries, including Japan, China and Mexico.

One of the pupils, Jaiden Clark, said: "I'm so shocked.

"We got to the final, we had so much hope and we've been practising for about a year, all the break times and lunch times we've spent - it's all paid off."

Flag football is a non-contact version of American football, so can be played by children without fears for health and safety, as 'tackles' are only completed by grabbing one of the flags worn around players' waists.

The kids say flag football is a "really exciting sport". Credit: ITV News Anglia

Like American Football Players score points with touchdowns.

At Lings Primary School, head coach Tom Davies is assisted by his mother Anne.

Ms Davies, coach and PE co-ordinator at the school, said: "Thomas and myself got qualified last year in NFL, we then introduced a club in school and it took off. Absolutely amazing.

"We entered our first competition last year, won our regional and went to Loughborough at the National Finals, but got knocked out in the quarters.

"This year we decided we'd try and go one better."

One of the pupils on the team has already been scouted by the NFL.

Tom Davies, head coach and PE specialist, said: "For them to go and have an experience like this - the NFL have given them a chance to represent their badges.

"To get the chance to have your own country's shirt on and to go and do that is the proudest moment you could ever get.

"For these children who are 10 or 11 years old, it's just something they are never going to forget on their lives."

St Ivo Academy in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, won their age category at London too, so will get to be flag bearers at one of NFL's London games in October.

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