University American football team win national NFL award
Press release issued: 11 February 2011
The University’s American Football team ‘Bristol Barracuda’ has won a national award from the British Universities American Football League, the largest university competition for American football in Europe.
The team was named as ‘University Club of the Year’ thanks to team’s on-field achievements and its outstanding work in raising the profile of American football.
Launched in 2006, the team has a squad of more than 50 student players and is led on the field by 12 experienced coaches. The team has quickly grown to become a successful member of the British Universities American Football League (BUAFL) and competes in the National College bowl final each year.
Run entirely by students and volunteers, the club has been praised for its organisation, recruitment and promotional activity as well as taking an active role in the local community.
Club Captain, Sam Bellman and Community Officer, Jonny Khan, collected the award, sponsored by Thompson Sport, on behalf of the team at the NFL UK Awards in London.
Sam Bellman, said: “We are thrilled to have won this award. The award not only reflects our commitment and passion for the sport but also our work in developing the team and reaching out beyond the University to involve the local community.”
The team's community engagement work, led by Bristol Barracuda Community Officer, Jonny Khan, has enabled the team to join forces with the University’s RELAYS (Regional Education Legacy for Arts and Youth Sports) project team and BAFCA’s (British American Football Coaches association) to arrange for a proportion of the team to become accredited flag-football leaders. In 2009 the team ran a non-contact flag variant of the sport for over 250 school children at the three-day Festival of School Sport.
Following another successful Festival in 2010, the Bristol Barracuda expanded their remit, and are now taking teams of players into schools all over Bristol to run regular taster sessions for Year 8-10 pupils.