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Rob Rooksby steps away as BAFA’s Manager for Schools

Saturday, July 6, 2019

After four years as BAFA’s Manager for Schools, Rob Rooksby is stepping away and the responsibilities of his role will pass to Schools Commission Lead, Ally Reid.

During his four years of total commitment to introducing American Football to schools, Rob has recorded many achievements. Most notable, these include getting flag football included in the multi-million pound-funded School Games and enabling BAFA to beat 43 other NGBs to win the ‘School Games NGB of the Year, 2017’ in only the sport’s first year in the Games!

Rob’s original brief was to increase participation in schools – and in the School Games alone, flag football participation rose from zero to over 6,000 young people in the first two years. He also personally delivered sessions for over 2,000 young people across the country as part of the promotional work for the School Games.


He is stepping away due to a change in personal circumstances, including providing continued support to his elderly mother, who is declining in health.

BAFA Chair Nichole McCulloch said: “On behalf of the BAFA board I’d like to thank Rob for his hard work and dedication to our sport and wish him well for the future. He has ensured a sustainable and long-term future for American Football within an established, mainstream school-sport competition framework. Through Ally Reid, we will continue to build on Rob’s hard work to ensure long-term involvement and success in schools.”

Rob said: “I feel I have more than fulfilled the original brief that I was set and it’s now time to step off the field and watch from the benches! It would be very remiss of me if I did not acknowledge the tremendous support, I have received from my colleagues Brian Smallworth, Martin Cockerill, Russ Hewitt, Andy Fuller, Jon Wyse, Tony Allen, Gerry Anderson, Alan Bigham and not least, my very valued colleague Roger Smithies. Furthermore, there are many people at the Youth Sport Trust deserving of thanks and recognition and, also, David Tossell at NFL UK. All of them have made special contributions that allowed me to have the success that I have enjoyed. My biggest supporter, however, has been my Mum, even with her declining health.”

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