The New York Jets and the Chicago Bears celebrated the successful second year of the Jets and Bears NFL Girls Flag league with a Championship Event.

Held at AFC Wimbledon’s Cherry Red Records Stadium in London, the event marked the end of a six-week league featuring two conferences of twelve teams each, organised by the Jets and Bears.

The Jets and Bears NFL Girls Flag league was launched with the aim of introducing girls to a new sport and providing them with access to it, as well as granting NFL clubs the rights to enhance brand awareness and fandom beyond the US.

Now in its second year, the Jets and Bears programme engaged 240 UK girls, aged 12-14, through NFL Flag, a non-contact version of American football.

The girls are encouraged to collaborate both on and off the field, working together to plan and execute winning plays. This process aims to help them develop lifelong skills in strategy, communication and resilience, promoting healthy mental well-being for the future.

Throughout the league, the girls received personalised coaching sessions from qualified NFL Flag coaches and were provided with their own branded kits by league presenting partner Nike.

Matt Simeone, Chicago Bears’ Director of Community & Alumni Relations, commented: “We want to ensure that girls in the UK have similar accessibility to American Flag Football as girls in the US. This league was another example of the wonderful impact flag football can have on young girls. They gain transferable skills from taking part in Flag Football they will take with them moving forward.”

At the festival event, Northwood triumphed in the Bears’ conference, defeating Beaconsfield 22-8. In the Jets’ conference, inaugural winners Ealing Fields defended their title with a 28-6 victory over St Mary Magdalene.

Former Bears cornerback Jerry Azumah and former Jets running back Tony Richardson attended the event to present trophies to the winning teams.

Following these results, the two respective champions from the Girls Flag league will be invited as special guests to the 2024 NFL London Games, where both the Jets and Bears will play at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Jets will face the Vikings on 6 October, followed by the Bears taking on the Jaguars the next weekend on 13 October.

Jesse Linder, VP of Community Relations at the Jets, said: “Days like today are exactly why we kicked off this fantastic flag football league for these girls. We’ve seen the girls grow as players on the field as well creating a community off of it. Flag football is one of the best sports for young girls, and it’s been a privilege to make this league work again with the Bears.”

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