Last week on WFB Talk, we had Guest Nikki Johnson, who is part of the NFL Girl’s Flag Football Pioneer Program. Ten young women were chosen to establish girls flag football in the high schools. Currently, girls flag football is a sanctioned sport in Florida and Alaska. What that means is that the state of Florida and Alaska recognize it as a school funded sport year after year. If you listened to our show last Sunday, you would have heard that in the nine years since girls flag football was sanctioned as a high school sport in Florida, participation has risen 458% (figure taken from nflyouthfootball.com).
While speaking with Brenda Johnson, who is in charge of project operations in the Las Vegas area, she informed us that there was no funding available this year. Flag Football would still be set up as a club sport for the 2009 season. What teams may not realize, the interest for women to play tackle football is declining year after year because there is no type of feeder program. On the show, Robin said that she noticed, at least on her team, that there was lower interest in the community from previous years. The current age range for women playing tackle football is 25 to 45 (percentages are fewer for ages <25 and >45).
If flag football were in the high schools, more young women would be aware and the athletism would be greater for fielding a team. This would also bring awareness to the community that women play tackle football.
Starting late January and early February we will be calling on each and every team to donate $25 (tax deductible) to help this important cause. This will help pay for equipment for the 2009 season (36 schools in the district), which will begin in March.
“We as women, we as football players need to take that first step into action to support women in sports”.
A pay pal account will be set up by their organization. As soon as I get that information, we will forward it on to you in an email campaign, as well as post a special page on the blog to help get Girl’s Flag Football sanctioned in the high schools. Once the sport is sanctioned, per the nflyouthfootball.com web site, the NFL will supply the necessary equipment. Until then, we still need to help.
UPDATED CORRECTION: The NFL will provide equipment regardless of what level the sport is implemented. The donations received will be used for jersey’s, insurance, travel, etc. that currently is not covered, since it is still considered a club sport.
Please listen to the original message from Nikki Johnson, when asked “where she saw women’s football in the future“. CLICK HERE
Nikki Johnson (left)
Photo taken from ReviewJournal.com
To learn more about the NFL Girl’s Flag Football Program, Nikki Johnson and nine other young women are involved in go to http://www.nflyouthfootball.com/Its_Time_For_Our_First_Down.htm.