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Team UK leave NFL Flag Championships with heads held high

Being the first to do anything is always tough, especially if you're the first UK team to compete at the NFL Flag Championships at the Pro Bowl, which was the case this past January for a team of 11 and 12 year olds from a small town in Huntingdon in England.

The group of 14 children left the classroom behind to fly to Florida for a week to compete in the international tournament and see the NFL Pro Bowl (the NFL's all-star game).

The Houghton team - known as the Bears - booked their trip of a lifetime by winning the UK NFL Flag finals at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in London, last summer.

The Houghton team came up against opponents from the USA, Germany, China, Mexico and Canada.

They were beaten in their opening three games but ended on a high with a win against Germany as Michael Adusei scored two touchdowns.

They wore a specially made United Kingdom kit endorsed by the Chicago Bears. They adopted the same name after being led by Bears' defensive end, Akiem Hicks, at the UK finals.

Jason Brisbane Head of Community and Grassroots development at NFL UK stated: "This was an incredible experience for these young people and their families who came out to support them. What was great to see was how much they developed and matured with each game, resulting in a win in the final game. I'm immensely proud of each one of the players.This experience has taught us a lot about how to further develop and improve our NFL Flag programme and we are looking forward to implementing these next year and improving on this year's result".

The standout player of the tournament for Team U.K was defensive ball hawk Kasie Gray who spent the tournament flying all over the field, making tackles, and was continually given praise by the other teams for her effort and quality of play.

Regional qualifiers for the 2020 National Championship begin in April with the National Championship being held in late June.

If you are a school that would like to be part of the NFL Flag programme you can register your interest at

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