Since the summer of 2011 Hertfordshire University, the University of Portsmouth and Southampton University have each been working to enhance their existing football programmes with the establishment of a Women’s team to compete in the inaugural British Universities American Football League (BUAFL) Women’s 5 on 5 Championships scheduled to take place in the coming summer term.
The Championships, the first of its kind in Europe, will see the teams compete in two round robin tournaments with the combined results deciding the destination of the title.
Dr Elesa Zehndorfer, Head of Women’s Football for the BUAFL, welcomed the announcement ‘We are delighted by the work which has been undertaken at these three universities. The commitment of the staff, coaches and players to creating a great environment for the development of Women’s football cannot be under-estimated and we look forward to the culmination of their hard work in the summer.’
Andy Fuller, BAFA Director for Student Football endorsed Dr Zehandorfer’s comments. ‘BAFA would like to thank all those who have been involved in the development of the three programmes. In seeking to work with Hertfordshire, Southampton and Portsmouth we have not only ensured that we have significant interest in participation, largely fostered by the hard work of the clubs, but we have also have a wealth of coaching experience and a geographic focus which should aid sustainable development.’
Fuller added ‘There have been a considerable number of people who have worked very hard to get us to this point and all deserve equal tribute. However, we would personally like to thank Lauren Hackney (pictured) from Southampton who has both been a driving force in pushing the project forward and acted as an ambassador for this initiative. Her efforts have been tireless and considerable.’