Ever since the NFL’s Washington Redskins took on the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII in 1983 and a fledgling Channel 4 broadcast the game live the sport of American football has been part of the British sporting consciousness. Recent years have seen the sport rise to prominence again with enhanced coverage of the NFL and NCAA football across television platforms; the NFL’s staging of games at Wembley, and unprecedented investment in community and student football from major stakeholders. In the past year alone community participation has risen by 19%, student participation by 20.9% and the number of active coaches has increased by 64%.
As a Governing Body we are keen to ensure that we can cater effectively for a growing demand for the sport (both contact and non-contact versions) across schools. We are currently developing resources to support engagement with the sport within and beyond the curriculum but prior to that we are seeking to map the interest which exists across schools so we can establish the most appropriate interventions for game development.
To aid in this mapping exercise we have, together with IFAF, created an online survey for school staff members which will take no more than 2 minutes to complete. Respondents to the survey will provide us with basic details (school staff contact; school location; aspect of the game they are interested in) around which we can build a programme of targeted support.
The survey will be found on the front page of www.britishamericanfootball.org and will be activated on July 1st for one month.
We would like to encourage all of our teams who have forged links with schools and the teams currently operating out of schools to take the time to either fill in the form or pass it on to an appropriate person who can. It is vital that every programme completes this form so we can ascertain where we are and how we can progress.
Details of the research programme have been disseminated to a wide range of stakeholder bodies across Great Britain.