Global Flag Football Ambassadors help launch first UK NFL FLAG League for girls 

Two International Federation of American Football (IFAF) / National Football League (NFL) Global Flag Football Ambassadors helped launch a pioneering girls’ flag football league in London on International Women’s Day, Wednesday March 8.

 Great Britain international Phoebe Schecter, who is also the athlete lead on IFAF’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, was joined for the announcement by fellow ambassador Chase Claypool, wide receiver for the Chicago Bears.

The new league is a joint initiative of NFL clubs the New York Jets and Chicago BearsStarting from 20 April, it will see girls aged 12-14 compete in two conferences of six teams each (12 teams total) across five weeks. The Jets and Bears will each run a conference in Ealing, with the winners going head-to-head in a Championship Event on May 22.

Flag football, the gender-equal, non-contact format of American football, is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports disciplines and the cornerstone of IFAF’s partnership with the NFL, which seeks to further accelerate global development. Women and girls are driving the fastest growth in participation.

 Both the Jets and the Bears have been instrumental in the growth of female flag football in the US. The Jets have grown from eight teams to over 110 in New York and New Jersey in just three years, while the Bears saw a 300% increase in just one year, with over 1,200 girls now participating in flag football leagues.

The announcement of the London league, which will see all participants receive uniforms from Nike, took place alongside a panel discussion exploring how to break down barriers to physical activity among girls.

In addition to Schecter and Claypool, the panelists included Sky Sports presenter Hannah Wilkes; GBR rugby sevens Olympian Celia Quansah; GBR flag football player and NFL UK Head of Community Development Afia Law; CJ Uzomah, New York Jets tight end; and Ugo Monye, ex-England rugby player and board member of the Women’s Sports Trust.

Phoebe Schecter, who last year contributed to a review of the IFAF Statutes to ensure more effective gender representation, emphasized the power of flag football as a uniquely inclusive sport that builds confidence among girls and young women.

 “Flag football is a sport where everyone’s qualities and differences can be a strength. Those kids who don’t think sport is for them – they find a place in flag football. I love seeing the transformation that happens when a girl throws a football for the first time. It’s genuinely empowering. You can see it. 

 “What’s also crucial is how flag football is creating genuine, visible role models and pathways for women and girls in American football, really for the first time.

 “We’ve seen it with Diana Flores and The World Games and, who knows, the girls here might even have the opportunity to become Olympians one day and inspire millions more girls and women. That representation is so important.”

 To find out more about the inaugural NFL Girls Flag League, please visit, and

To find out more about NFL Flag in the UK, please visit,

About IFAF

The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is the international governing body for the sport of American football and is responsible for all regulatory, competition, performance and development aspects of the game on a global level. Provisionally recognised by the International Olympic Committee, IFAF is a member of GAISF and a signatory to the WADA Code. IFAF has 72 member nations across 5 continents.  

About NFL

The National Football League is America’s most popular sports league, comprised of 32 franchises that compete each year to win the Super Bowl, the world’s biggest annual sporting event. Founded in 1920, the NFL developed the model for the successful modern sports league, including national and international distribution, extensive revenue sharing, competitive excellence, and strong franchises across the board. The NFL is the industry leader on a wide range of fronts.

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