The 7th February sees a landmark in American Football. It’s the day that Super Bowl 50 will take place – the fiftieth event in the history of the game that decides the League Champion for America’s NFL.
The Super Bowl is a sporting occasion that’s becoming more popular here in the UK, and that popularity is fuelling a wider interest in the sport.
So with more and more people wanting to give it a try – and the Super Bowl 50 imminent – we thought now would be a great time to give you the low down on where and how to get involved. So get ready with your best ‘hut’, ‘hike’ and other American Football football parlances, because there’s our guide to getting in to American Football… American football can be quite a complicated game to understand. It was devised in the late 19th Century out of Association Football and Rugby Union. A fella by the name of Walter Camp defined 11 player tens, the concept of downs and the Snap (the passing of the ball at the beginning of a down).
We could try and explain it – but here’s a much better rough guide to do just that:
If that’s whetted your appetite and you’ve got a felling you’d enjoy the strategy and tactics (or you just relish the chance to crash into someone and knock them over) then you might want to know where you can try the sport out. You’re in luck, because London has more than a fledgling American Football community. With heavy hitting names like Hornets , Olympians, Blitz, Warriors and Renegades – there are several well established clubs dotted around our capital:
‘The Blitz’ – as they’re known – are one of London’s most established American Football Clubs. Based at London’s Finsbury Park (which isn’t too far from ABC’s Camden branch) they were established in 1984 as the Ealing Eagles, changing their name after a merger with the Woking Generals in 1994.
A club that’s open to all – many of their Senior players began their careers playing for fun through the youth programme and have gone on to play in the USA – they have a well developed youth programme and a solid history of achievement in competition.
You can find out more about The London Blitz on their website.
The London Hornets or ‘Stingers’ are one of London’s newer teams – having been established in 2014. They’re doing pretty well though – and in 2015 had an impressive run of victories in the senior games (even beating The London Blitz 40 – 6 Away).
In season they train on Sundays from 11am – 2.30pm in Regents’s park, Camden and are open to players of all abilities – with or without experience. Find out more and how to contact them on their website at Londonhornets.co.uk
Southwark (and beyond)
South London Renegades
The South London Renegades are based at the Damilola Taylor Youth Centre near Burgess Park. They don’t have a website, but contact details for the club secretary are available on the Get Active London website
Training down at Croydon’s Dagnall Park The Warriors are a South London club that’s been playing in the Senior league since 2007. They have Seniors, Womens, Junior (U19), Youth (U17) & Cadets (U13) teams. Visit the Warriors website or Twitter to find out more.
Based in Beckenham, Greater London, the Olympians claim to be the UK’s most successful amateur American Football club. They boast five age defined teams. Check out their recruitment page if you’re interested.
If you do catch the American Football bug, you’ll almost certainly be buying the kit. And if you find yourself needing somewhere to safely store that Helmet and body armour, look no further than one of our self storage lockers.