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Adult Flag Organisational Committee Announcement

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Three new committee members

Following the announcement of additional opportunities within the Adult Flag Organisational Committee in March, and completion of the interview process for applicants, BAFA is pleased to announce three new Committee Members:

- Heather McGowan – Opal League
- Andrew Gambrill – Opal League
- Phil Shanahan – Mixed League (Northern English Conference/NEC)

Kyle Taylor, BAFA Adult Flag Commission Lead, said:

“I would like to thank all those that applied for the available roles but especially Heather, Phil and Andrew for stepping up to the plate. All three proved during interview to be great candidates with the improvement and care of Adult Flag Football at heart, and the other Committee members and I look forward to working with them going forward.

“I’m especially excited to see how we impact Opal. As an Opal coach, having 
developed a team in Leeds over the past few years, seeing the league’s potential and the passion of its players, I see Opal as a key focus point for the development of Adult Flag Football. I believe the slight change of appointing not one representative, but both Andy and Heather, who bring a combined wealth of experience and are well known in the community, will enable us to best support and develop Opal.

“It’s also important to recognise Phil, who has been a key cog in developing one of the more 
consistently successful teams in the north of England, the Manchester Crows, but is also a well-known and respected member of the NEC community who is always on hand to provide support to teams, and has shown time and again his desire for community collaboration to improve our sport. I think he’s an ideal fit for the role and I’m pleased to continue to be working with him now at a league level.

“The new committee members, along with the knowledge of those longer standing members who have agreed to continuing supporting the league
 – Mike (HNC Rep), Neil (SEC Rep) and Lewis (SWC Rep) – puts us in great position to support BAFA Adult Flag for the foreseeable future.”

Phil Shanahan
Phil has been involved in British American Football for nearly 15 years, starting towards the end of 2005 and including a short stint in the US in 2006/07. A longstanding member of the NEC community and General Manager of the Manchester Crows, Phil is passionate about the development of Flag Football in the UK.

Phil said:
“Though my focus will be on the NEC, I’d like to foster a culture of knowledge sharing across the entire flag community, publishing best practice from across the league. I want the newer/less experienced flag teams to have access to high quality operational resources, so they have the best chance to run themselves in the same effective and sustainable way as the more experienced/successful teams. In my opinion, increasing the quality of competition is the quickest and most effective way of increasing the overall quality of the flag league.

“I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to working with you all.”

Heather McGowan
Heather has been involved within the East Kilbride Pirates American Football organisation for the past 10 years, undertaking a number of different roles both on and off the field. One of the founding members of the East Kilbride Pirates Women’s football team in 2015, Heather is now captain and a valued member of the team. Through her time playing both mixed and female flag football, Heather has played at numerous international tournaments including Champions Bowl, Big Bowl and was part of the first UK team to play in Russia at The Moscow Flag Football Open in September. Heather also volunteers as a coach for the Hamilton Buccaneers youth flag team and is dedicated to developing the game.

Heather said:
“I am really looking forward to being a part of the BAFA Adult Flag Committee and I hope that I can use my experience of playing in the Opal Series to make the female league even stronger in the future. I am passionate about seeing the female game reach its full potential in the UK and helping provide opportunities for more people to get into the sport.”

Andrew Gambrill
Andrew has been playing and coaching in flag football since the late 1990s and has prior experience in league management running the BAFA youth league and being on previous Opal Series Competition Organising Groups. You may know Andrew as the Head Coach of the Black Widows and for being the first Head Coach of GB Women. 

Andrew said:
“Those that know me, know that I’m passionate and committed to seeing female flag football grow in this country. Having done what I can to support the sport at different levels, local to national, over the years and first starting in 2003, I’m excited for this new opportunity to do what I can to grow Opal football.”


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