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Kingston Cougars: First women’s American football taster session

By Soile Ntutu Feb 2, 2017
Photo: Kingston CougarsCoach Conan Jal giving instructions.

The Kingston Cougars Women’s American football had their first taster session on January 15 2017. The session took place at Tolworth Sports Court where there was a strong turnout of twenty-seven ladies. 

Despite the wet weather condition, the local women from Kingston attended and demonstrated their skills. The team is being reintroduced after being shut down and is now open to not only Kingston students but local women over the age of 18. Training will start immediately and the next session is scheduled for January 28 2017.

Holly Everest, who plays for the London Warriors, said: “There were a lot of very talented athletes at the taster session with people picking up new skills very quickly. American football is quite a complex sport and everybody did an amazing job. I think there is definitely the potential for a very very strong women’s team and they could be serious contenders even at this early stage.”

“Several years ago there was a very successful women’s team and it is great to see it back up and running again and further enhancing the cougar brand,” said Miss Everest.

Eleanor West, who was trying out, said: “The women who showed up had the potential to make a strong team since most of them already play rugby.”

Phoebe Schecter, who was the guest coach and the captain of the Great Britain Lions Women’s team, was impressed with the girls. She is now a qualified British American Football Coach Awards (BAFCA) coach.

She said: “One of the most exciting aspects of coaching women is how quickly they develop. Looking at the group from the beginning to the end, their progress was impressive. The girls went from having minimal base of football knowledge, to playing a five on five touch game by the end.

“I am honored to be a part of this historic day for the Kingston Cougars women’s team. I hope that I helped to make the day fun for everyone and show them why American Football is such a special sport. I am so excited to see how the Cougars get on, and will definitely be stopping in to see their progress.”

In charge of the programme are five coaches who have had several years’ experience and were part of a team that won the Division One South Championship in 2014/15.

The Kingston Cougars team of coaches were really impressed with the girls. They said: “The skill levels shown by the ladies who turned up on Sunday was fantastic.

“The level of enthusiasm and enjoyment for the session was superb and they all soaked up everything that was thrown at them really quickly.  we hope will compete with the best teams in the country.”

Training sessions will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at the Tolworth Sports Ground. For more information, visit their Facebook page.


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