Female American football side Herts Tornadoes in a spin over cash touchdown

PUBLISHED: 11:53 20 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 20 January 2017

Hertfordshire Tornadoes. Picture by Whizzyfingers Photography

Hertfordshire Tornadoes. Picture by Whizzyfingers Photography

Archant

A near £10,000 grant has given a women’s team from Hatfield a pre-season boost as they plot to secure a third national title.

The Herts Sports Village-based Hertfordshire Tornadoes have been handed £9,764 from Sport England to develop women’s American football in London and the Home Counties.

They will start this with a taster day for interested players this Saturday (January 21).

Head coach Tom Roberts, whose side are gearing up for a sixth season in the Women’s British American Football League, said: “Receiving this grant has been an amazing start to the season.

“With the money we receive we can order more equipment which means more women have the chance to come to try and potentially love this sport.”

The development of women’s sport is a real focus for Sport England, as can be seen by the incredibly successful This Girl Can campaign from 2015.

What’s great about American football is that women of all different sizes and body types are essential on the field. Also, as the sport is in its early stages, women with no experience are getting into the sport and developing into successful athletes.

In six years, women’s American football has grown from a sport where just a handful of women were playing, to a sport that has hundreds of women are playing around the UK.

In 2015 the Great Britain women’s team found success on the international stage, winning a silver medal in the European Championship.

The Tornadoes contributed significantly to both the coaching staff and playing squad for the championship.

With the grant from Sport England, the Tornadoes plan to support more women to try, and succeed at, this new sport.

With the majority of the grant going on kit, including helmets and shoulder pads, the entry costs for players will be significantly reduced.

Also included within the grant are funds to send players on coaching qualifications.

Ahead of Saturday’s taster day for women aged 18 and over at Herts Sports Village, which starts at 11.30am, Maria Peeters, Tornadoes’ defensive lineman, said: “The rookie day is a great opportunity for women to try something new, meet new people and get active.

“We aren’t just a team, we are a group of friends that enjoy playing football, eating and having a laugh.

“It’s not like any team I’ve been a part of before, it’s like a family that all have each other’s backs.

“I hope that others who come along to give it a go enjoy it as much as I have especially with the amazing grant we have been given to support this exciting sport.”


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