The School Games is a £280 million funded sport and exercise initiative delivered to just under 21,000 of the 24,233 schools in England managed by the Youth Sport Trust. There are 43 NGBs involved offering 4 levels of competition, the running of which is managed by 453 paid School Games Organisers.
BAFA entered the School Games in September 2016 and after only one full year in the Games, was selected by a YST panel of school sport experts to be nominated for the award alongside Basketball England, England and Wales Cricket Board and Exercise Movement Dance UK. The BAFA nomination was primarily based on the innovative competition and challenge card formats and activities developed as a way of introducing the sport to young people, the engagement and promotional work done and the resultant increased participation figures that are now over 4,000 children for just the first year.
Martin Cockerill, Chair of BAFA said;
‘The Award was presented to Rob Rooksby and Assistant Manager for Schools, Roger Smithies, in front of over 500 delegates, most of whom where the School Games Organisers who hold the key to any sports success in the Games. There can be no doubt now that American Football’s presence in the School Games has been significantly enhanced and established by this Award.
BAFA’s Manager for Schools and School Games Lead, Rob Rooksby said;
‘An enormous amount of work went into getting a version of the sport into the School Games that met the rigorous requirements rightfully laid-down by the YST but also satisfied the technical standards set by our promotional and supporting partner, the NFL. The last two years have been a very intense time with a variety of challenges and problems to face and solve. To get this award in recognition of the time and effort that has been put into this work is incredibly appreciated and is such a great boost for the sport as a whole. It is another significant step-forward for BAFA.’
The whole Britball Community should share and celebrate this award together, it is something that the football community should feel very proud of, as a community. Congratulations to all involved and after years of concern and worry over the development of the youth game, the future for it looks a little brighter and a little more secure now.
Photo c/o @yourschoolgames