Lions assist Surge’s new charges
The Lions were busy last Sunday – following their own final Saturday practice of the season – assisting the Surge of Staffordshire get their women’s (and boys’ youth academy side) introduced to kit and contact in the club’s first ever ‘Introduction to Contact Day’ (for these two start-up teams).
With a generous day-loan of pads and helmets, provided courtesy of Birmingham’s University programme, the Surge women and youth were able to kit up for the very first time, all so they could subsequently be put through their paces by an entirely female coaching crew, courtesy of Lions’ international players: Nena Killick (taking the DBs), Afia Law (LBs), Aimee Cottingham (DL), Lauren Mills (OL), Ruth Matta (RBs) and Jo Kilby (QBs), with Phoebe Schecter overseeing proceedings.
Cheshire based Schecter, who is responsible for the development of the Surge’s women’s team, was clear on what she wanted from the day. “I wanted to give both Surge teams a real taste of what training in kit was like but also to provide them with access to some of the best female players in the country so that was a real coup for us. These girls have experience, enthusiasm and knowledge and that’s what I wanted to transfer across, to hopefully help inspire the next wave and generation of players here in Staffordshire.
Having the Lions provide an all female coaching set-up was equally good news: “It was just awesome to have my Lions’ team-mates with me to share in the experience and the feedback received from all who attended was brilliant.”
"I'd been looking forward to the contact day for ages and it didn't disappoint, loved every second and a MASSIVE thanks to the Lions for taking the time out to train with us....you guys rock" - Maria Cole, Surge Women
"Thank you to all the ladies that travelled to coach us! Literally loved it, never known three hours to go so fast in my life" - Katie Friel, Surge Women
"Thank you for today ladies you have definitely cemented my love for the game and my ambitions to join the contact league" - Nathan Heath, Surge Youth
"It was a pleasure sharing the pitch with you all. Can't wait to get playing now" - Laura Kocus, Surge Women
The Lions are now the first and only women’s team (to date) to assist in delivering both BAFA- and club-lead development sessions for other teams. “It’s important to give back” commented Club Captain Jo Kilby “…this sport has given many of us some fantastic opportunities, experiences and memories and as such we need to balance what we take from it with making sure we put something back, that way we help grow the game and that’s got to be good for everyone right?”
"Well done all and thanks to the Lions' Women's Team for their time and generosity in assisting another team" - Jim Messenger, BAFA Women's Lead Development Manager
If you’re in the Stoke-on-Trent/Staffordshire area and fancy giving American Football a go why not visit the team’s Facebook page for more information and to #GetInvolved.
Image with thanks to and © James Brewerton.