Tameside primary schools invited to free American football taster sessions
Friday 8th June 2018 @ 12:44 by Tom Greggan
News Sports Tameside

Primary schools across Tameside are invited to free American football sessions next week, run by a professional NFL team.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ ‘JagTag’ programme sees school student learn a simplified, non-contact version of American football. The grassroots scheme has been a huge success since it was first launched in London in 2015, with over 3,000 children taking part, 45% of which are female.

Now, Manchester is the first city outside of the capital to benefit from the programme after the Jaguars teamed up with Edstart, a Salford-based primary school physical education company. Young pupils across the city will have the chance to learn the key basic NFL techniques of throwing, catching, evading and defending. JagTag is suited to children of all athletic abilities.

The free American football taster sessions are open to primary school pupils of all athletic ability.

Hussain Naqi, Senior Vice President of International Development at the Jacksonville Jaguars, said: “The Jaguars aim is to make American football accessible to fans of all ages across the UK. Manchester has been selected as the first city outside of London to deliver the JagTag programme and we are very excited to be working with EdStart Sports Coaching to bring American football to the North West of England. We are confident that Manchester students will embrace the sport and enjoy playing JagTag as much as they have in London.”

The expansion into the North West comes after the latest Public Health England report into child obesity, released last week, which shows that one in every 25 children are ‘severely obese’.

The JagTag Schools Programme is part of the Jaguars aim to grow grassroots American football in the UK and help play a role in encouraging young people to lead active, healthy lives. The programme has received backing from the UK government with a grant from Sport England.

Chris Irwin, Managing Director of EdStart, is thrilled to be working with the Jaguars. He said: “To have the weight of an NFL franchise behind such a brilliant schools sport programme is fantastic for the young people of Manchester. We cannot wait to get to work with the Jags, and coach thousands of children in and around the Manchester area.”

EdStart CEO Chris Irwin with Jacksonville Jaguars players Calais Campbell (L) and Yannick Ngakoue (R).

Lee Preston, Head of Sport and Community Activity at Manchester City Council, added: “It’s amazing that Manchester has been chosen to host the Jag Tag programme. The success that it has had in London is remarkable and we are excited to be able to offer JagTag in our schools and give our children another opportunity to remain active.”

The JagTag Schools Programme will be offering two FREE Taster Days with special events at Salford City Roosters ARLFC in Eccles, on Thursday June 14th from 1pm – 4pm, as well as Platt Lane Sports Complex in Manchester on Friday June 15th from 2pm – 5pm.

The Taster Days include:

  • FREE Coaching from JagTag coaches followed by matches,
  • FREE fun Jaguars inflatable game,
  • FREE Jaguars giveaways,
  • Open to years 5 and 6, maximum ten players per school
  • Transport to be discussed directly with EdStart

After the Taster Day, schools will have the opportunity for JagTag to be taught to their students by trained JagTag Coaches provided by EdStart. If they do decide to take on JagTag, the students will also have the chance to compete in local competitions and receive unbelievable rewards such as the chance to watch the Jaguars play live at Wembley Stadium in October 2018.

The Football Association (FA) has this month confirmed a bid for Wembley at £1bn, heavily rumoured to be from billionaire owner of Fulham Football Club and Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, Shahid Khan.

Schools across Tameside who want to be involved in the free taster days should contact EdStart Sports Coaching on 0161 736 9960 or email [email protected].

Top image copyright of Georgiee Elliott