The power of social media was demonstrated through this case study as Winterton Community Academy (Scunthorpe) contacted The Leeds Academy of American Football through Twitter having seen the work they had done with schools in Leeds over the course of the Autumn term. The PE department asked for a one day camp to introduce American Football to their pupils and were happy for it to be held on the Leeds Metropolitan University Headingley Campus (known for its superb sporting facilities). Winterton Community Academy are keen on giving their pupils new experiences; the sport of American Football certainly fitted the bill.
Academy manager, Dale Bottomley, arranged facilities needed for the camp, designed session plans and organised coaches. The camp was split into two sections: the morning session and the afternoon session. The morning session focussed on teaching participants the fundamental techniques of each position in Flag American Football. The afternoon session was a five-team round robin tournament and gave the pupils the opportunity to use the skills they had learnt in the morning session in a game situation.
The coaches did a fantastic job by taking the pupils from knowing virtually nothing about the sport at the beginning of the day to knowing the basic techniques and responsibilities of the positions in Flag American Football and being able to play (and play very well!) a full Flag game.The PE teachers that attended from Winterton were impressed by the way the sport encouraged communication skills and teamwork, commenting on how the pupils worked on designing plays in between games. Equally, the coaches were impressed by how well the pupils took to American Football and the natural talent displayed.
At the end of the camp, the winning team (The Chiefs) were given Sam Bradford NFL jerseys and all participants received an NFL PLAY60 t-shirt, kindly donated by NFL UK. The pupils expressed great interest in continuing to play the sport, particularly showing a keenness to give the full-contact version of American Football a go. The Academy is looking forward to discussing with Winterton how they can work together in 2014.