In a huge move that is set to immediately upgrade the shape of American Football in ‘God’s Own County’, the Yorkshire Academy of American Football was announced this week, bringing together a number of teams in one of Britball’s most active and talent-stacked areas.
The initiative will bring together teams from all areas of Britball, including Adult, development, BUCS and Women’s, and builds on the great success of the Leeds Academy of American Football to create an effective pathway of participation for any and all interested in the sport in Yorkshire’s four counties and beyond.
Exciting new initiative announced for American Football in Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Academy of American Football, a new initiative designed to develop American football in the Leeds and wider region, has been launched.
Grown from the Leeds Academy of American Football, the new structure is designed to benefit teams in numerous ways and provide a clear pathway of participation for anyone wanting to play the sport; there is a team for every age, gender and ability.
Programmes within the Yorkshire Academy are:
- Yorkshire Academy Rams (adult contact)
- Leeds Carnegie Chargers (women’s contact)
- Leeds Gryphons (BUCS)
- Leeds Beckett Carnegie (BUCS)
- Yorkshire Academy Assassins (U14, U17, U19 contact)
- Leeds Samurai and the new Leeds Samurai women’s team (flag)
- Yorkshire Academy Ultimate Flag League (U13 flag)
- Yorkshire Academy Schools and Community
The new-look Academy has been fully sanctioned by the British American Football Association. Each affiliated team within the Academy will remain in total control of their management and finances via their respective committees.
A representative from each of the teams will sit on the Yorkshire Academy Steering Group that will communicate regularly and work together to ensure American football in the region thrives.
Dale Bottomley, Yorkshire Academy schools and community manager, said:
“I’d like to thank everyone that has helped make this vision a reality; it is fantastic to now have a clear pathway for American football participation.
I have no doubt that the sport will be stronger as a result of working more closely as a football community; there is so much knowledge that will be shared and skills that will be utilised – it is a very exciting time for American football in the Leeds region.”
As part of the development, the Yorkshire Rams will undergo a rebrand, moving from their black and gold colours to black and purple/white - this will ensure consistency within the spine of the Academy.
The Leeds Academy Assassins will also become the Yorkshire Academy Assassins – a name that truly reflects the diversity within the programme, with young people and coaches travelling from all four corners of the county and beyond to develop their football skills.
Kyle Taylor, Leeds Samurai Team President commented:
“The new Academy model presents a great opportunity to strengthen the growing community of American Football players, coaches and enthusiasts in Leeds and more widely Yorkshire, enabling us to better work together for the benefit of the spot.
This initiative will see the sport made far more accessible in the area, breaking down barriers to entry and creating a hub from which all formats of the sport are available to all. We are excited to be part of this initiative and look forward to working more closely with the other representative clubs and for what the future could bring.”
Yorkshire Academy Rams general manager Stewart Hegarty said:
“With an exemplary coaching structure, vibrant and athletic university programs and the well-established Rams outfit, football in Yorkshire is in such a strong position.
From grassroots to adult disciplines, we now have an all-in-one identity which will grow and develop players and coaches alike as well as benefiting all teams involved.”
Meg Robinson, chairman of the Leeds Carnegie Chargers, said:
“The Carnegie Chargers are a grassroots team, we don’t hold trials and we don’t turn women away.
Unfortunately, the women’s game is still small, but growing rapidly. Being involved in the Yorkshire Academy can only help grow the game in Yorkshire further, and encourage more women to come forward and join us.
The Academy will give anyone interested in American football, a home in Yorkshire and we’re excited to see where this venture takes us and the rest of the affiliated teams.”
Michael Cluskey, Yorkshire Academy Ultimate Flag League manager, added:
“The expansion of the Yorkshire Academy to give representation of every element of the sport will enable all of us to share best practice and really push all our players, coaches and staff to be the best they can be. I cannot wait to work with everyone, this is an exciting time.”
Will Babbington, Yorkshire Academy Assassins General Manager, said:
“The formation of the Yorkshire Academy is going to give fantastic opportunities to the young people of Yorkshire.
To be able to have a young player join us at seven years old and be able to offer them a complete American Football pathway that will allow them to develop their skills in whatever style of the sport they wish is fantastic and one that we hope will encourage many new players to join.”
Anyone wishing to give the sport a go should get in touch via the Yorkshire Academy social media pages (a new website is in development):