Back in April, The Change Foundation partnered with the NFL Flag Association to launch an exciting new NFL Flag Football programme. The partnership saw the NFL Flag Association deliver training to our sports coaches in preparation for the launch of our new 12-week pilot programme.
Our pilot programme takes the traditional rules and coaching of NFL Flag, but incorporates education on mental health in to each session. It is the first time an NFL programme like this has been delivered in the UK.
Elle is a Senior Coach mentor at The Change Foundation and was the acting Project Manager for this project. Through Elle’s mindful planning, each of the 12-weeks was allocated exercises that explored specific topics of mental health such as anxiety or depression.
Elle shared: “The weekly themes on mental health allowed the young people to develop greater resilience to mental health and an increased confidence in speaking about mental health and their wellbeing.”
We are incredibly pleased with the outcome of this project considering the short time frame that this programme was run for. In total the pilot was successfully delivered to over 75 young girls with one individual tournament hosting 127 year-11 students, both boys and girls.
A spokesperson from NFL Flag said: “We are happy to have partnered with The Change Foundation to deliver one of our first girls’ flag and wellbeing programmes. The Change Foundation staff and coaches have been brilliant at supporting young people through the delivery of NFL flag sessions and tailoring the experience to support the health and wellbeing of participants. I am excited to see how we can work with The Change Foundation moving forwards to continue to keep young people active and involved in sport.”
As awareness on mental health and the influences that cause mental health grows, all of us at The Change Foundation are trying to discover new, innovative ways to introduce educative methods surrounding the improvement of mental health in to all of our programmes. NFL Flag has proven that it is possible to educate young people on sport and mental health, whilst simultaneously keeping them engaged and having fun.
After the success of the pilot programme, we delivered the NFL Flag programme to young people from our Girls Win programme. Girls Win is a disability programme for young women and girls.
It was enlightening to witness how engaged the young people were with this new coaching style. All of the young women and girls left the session filled with excitement and energy. It was a testament to the dedicated coaches and the NFL Flag for all their involvement in creating this engaging new programme.
Following all of the positive feedback over the past few months, The Change Foundation coaching team will be meeting in November to trial more games and develop new exercises. We are passionate about developing new ways to educate young people on mental health. Following the success of our NFL Flag programme, we look forward to delivering it in to more schools across London and the UK.