Representing the Bears at the launch event in Ealing, London was receiver Chase Claypool, who became a part of the Global Flag Football Ambassadors program in December. Claypool, a native of Canada, was one of six girls flag football advocates to speak at a panel – hosted by Sky Sports Presenter Hannah Wilkes – for players of the new league Wednesday.
“I started playing football when I was eight years old and then I started playing flag football when I was nine years old,” Claypool said Wednesday during the panel. “So I tried to waste no time jumping into that sport. And I think why flag football is so much fun is so many different type of people can play the sport. Maybe there’s some people who can’t play tackle football, but everyone can play flag football and that’s what is so important.”
Claypool was joined on the panel by Jets tight end C.J. Uzomah, former England Rugby Union player Ugo Monye, Team GB Flag player Phoebe Schecter, England Rugby Sevens player Celia Quansah and head of community & grassroots development at NFL UK Afia Law. The panel discussed how women and girls are continuously breaking down barriers in the sport and in the NFL.
“As an NFL fan and a parent to two young girls, I am excited to be a part of the Jets and Bears making history with the first ever UK NFL Flag League for girls,” Monye said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some great games and hopefully some future players in the sport.”
Following the panel, the girls in attendance were invited to participate in flag football drills led by the panelists.
“Being a former player, I love the sport and only wished there were opportunities like this for me,” Law said. “At the NFL, we have seen great interest from young people in Flag Football and initiatives like this are fantastic to help more girls be active and to break down barriers at a competitive level too.”