Just before ‘rona striked, we had the pleasure of travelling ALL the way down South to the Shoreham Academy! Here we did what we have coined “circle talks” with the students prepping for their GCSE and BTECH exams, sharing experience and tools for them to hopefully implement into their preparations. It wouldn’t be a complete trip without finding an opportunity to actually play the sport.
A select group of students came down and we had a blast introducing American football. Finally, we finished the day by filming an insightful podcast with Tim Chase from Tru Challenge! Never a dull moment!
Edinburgh, BBC, Liverpool FC
Working in partnership with Scottish team, the East Kilbride Pirates, we ran an intro to flag football day for over 200 kids! Showing them the ins and outs of the sport was a blast. As we were in the area, we couldn’t help but stop by Flagging Iron Man American flag football tournament to see some of our #DukesFam.
Our first lady ended up having her second appearance on the famous BBC Breakfast Red Couch, where she spoke all things American football and the Superbowl! We couldn’t be up North in the UK without stopping by where Kenny’s heart lives… Liverpool Football Club!
Guided by our incredible host Nacho, we made our journey to Madrid, Spain to spend time with the entire Black Demons ballers and Coaches. On and off field clinics, history rich tours, and building our football family; Spain was a wonderful adventure for the Dukes!
From there, we went right off to the States to aid our US family at one of the largest youth flag football tournaments in Orlando, Florida! Our first time reffing, we learned more than we ever anticipated and grew an even bigger appreciation for what it takes to run leagues successfully.
EP Sports Partnership, Porto
December was the beginning of an exciting partnership with EP Sports! Our visions aligned and our Dukes store went live on the website, so everyone can now dress in our swag!
Later in the month, we had the incredible opportunity to go out to Porto, Portugal with some incredible humans. Our wonderful hosts MJ and Ze gave us the most traditional experience from their family restaurant…which was incredible! In the evenings, we spent time delivering on and off field clinics to the Porto Dyrrs and Lumberjacks!
USA, Blitz Awards, Blitzing Cancer
What. A. Month!! A mini Northeast USA road trip (Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Akron, Ohio and all the way back! Sideline at the Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns game catching up with Callie Brownson too!! Then back to the UK and up to Northern Scotland where we were honoured to be a part of the Highland Wildcats' Blitz Awards in Inverness - those guys set the standard when it comes to awards evenings!!
And finally, we held our first ever Blitzing Cancer Tournament in partnership with Coppafeel and Prostate Cancer UK. Everyone had a blast and the UK Dukes team ended up with the trophy!!
Pink Bowl, UOC Legion
October saw us travelling to the Netherlands to compete in Pink Bowl with the London Rebels and to the University of Chester to visit the Legion. Pink Bowl was a rainy, but great learning experience. The UOC was awesome to connect with the student athletes and really get some time to know the staff on the 1st of many times crossing paths.
Our first ever flag football clinic! A wonderful day for everyone in Coventry, filled with fun, learning, skills and drills. This 2-part clinic was for ages 10 and up and even had a special appearance from BBC Midlands!
GB Women’s European Championships
Having both Kenny and Phoebe on the Great Britain Women’s team as the wide receiver Coach and Team Captain, respectively; the whole half of 2019 was spent building up to the European Championship in Leeds. The women inspired so many people young and old and proved to everyone that American football is here to stay!