Jordan’s 100 Yards Sports Academy helping grow football in Middle East

Aysar Batayneh, 42, is a Jordanian business man and entrepreneur who has pledged to help the game of American football grow throughout the Middle East. He founded the 100 Yards Sports Academy as a vehicle to boost that growth. He explains here in his own words how he first got involved and his plans for the future.

Like many of the youth in my part of the world, getting an education in a foreign country and having the opportunity to be exposed to different cultures is a valuable gift we all strive to get.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in an environment that enabled me to travel the world and grow up in many countries.

One of my earliest memories living in the United States was watching the transition from Joe Montana to Steve Young, watching Jerry Rice play, and generally getting on the 49ers bandwagon. Which, in itself was odd since I was living in NY. I was hooked. Over the following 27 years I have never missed a season.

Over the years, after leaving NY, my love for the game grew through the olden days of watching college football, till the current days of fantasy football.

A few years ago I met an inspiring young man named Hussam Yaseen, who was willing to put his medical school studies on hold to pursue his love for American football, and his passion to launch a League in Jordan. Slowly Hussam was able to put together an amazing group of young like-minded men who played football in our desert Kingdom.

The Hundred Yards Sports Academy (100Yard) was born recently out of love for American football. Along with my partner Mr. Saliba Amash, we were able to launch the Academy and provide the support that Hussam needed to continue his dream.

100Yards main goal is to facilitate the growth of American football in Jordan. We are here to help place a foundation that enables the sustainable growth of the game. We work hand in hand with all like-minded parties, from sponsors to service providers to suppliers to coaches.

The dream of 100Yards is to be able to help launch an Arab league for American football. Thanks to the efforts of people like Hussam, and many other Arabian football fanatics, the seeds of an Arab League have been sown in many of the surrounding countries.

100Yards has recently received requests from a few surrounding countries that showed interest in implementing the Jordanian formula into their local leagues. Although it’s within our mandate to expand outside of Jordan, we believe our main focus should remain getting the Jordanian league in top shape. We can then be better equipped to utilise our gained knowledge in launching our model in other Arab countries.

As we are all well aware of, the western media doesn’t generally concentrate on the positive stories coming out of our part of the world. In addition, the alarming increase in despondency, the rough standard of living, and negative outlook on life have all made our youth more susceptible to negative influences. 100Yards, along with many other similar sports entities are trying to provide a safe haven for young people who want to have fun, compete and be part of something bigger than themselves.

If the youth in our part of the world are to have a chance of breaking the binds that hold them down, they need to be able to do it on our own. 100Yards is a purely local endeavour, aimed at giving our youth an outlet to let out their frustration in a safe and healthy environment.

Jordan, unlike most other countries in the region, is a safe haven for all people fleeing the turmoil surrounding us, and 100Yards tries to be a melting pot for all the youth living in our beautiful kingdom.

Nothing brings us greater joy that watching 5 young men from 5 different countries stand side by side as one line, protecting their QB, who happens to be from a 6th country.

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