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London Blitz: Exploring the British American football scene

Did you know there was a British American football scene? It’s not just a gentle undercurrent of NFL fervour, rather a thriving environment comprised of nearly 100 different senior teams across the UK. That’s excluding the partnered junior programmes and university clubs you’ll find.

One of the most successful and historically significant clubs in the country are the London Blitz. Based in Islington and formed in 1994, the Blitz have won five National Championships and they’re a model for success of how to run an amateur sports club in a scene that is criminally under-funded.

London Blitz chairman Jack Daley discusses the challenges faced by the club.

Running a pay-to-play model, the Blitz boast a senior programme and a set-up at both under-17 and under-19 level, ensuring a seamless transition from youth to adult level and a constant flow of new talent. Hence, securing the future of the club.

But it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sponsorship – and thus funding – remains an issue, especially given the rising popularity of American football in the UK still pales in comparison to that of football, cricket or tennis, for example.

Passion trumps, though, and the Blitz are seeing more and more recruits each year. While some harbour ambitions of using the Blitz as a stepping stone to move to a more glamorous European team or – in some very rare cases – an American college programme, the Blitz prioritise the community aspect. Anyone can play, irrespective of talent. You just need to love the game.

Featured photograph/ Oli Stein

Oli Stein
Oli, 24, is currently co-editor of the Sports Gazette. Prior to starting his MA at St Mary's University, Twickenham, Oli was the football editor at RealSport, a sports media company based in north London, and he accumulated a total of 3.3 million personal views from 2016 to 2018. He also has work experience with Hayters Teamwork, Soccer AM and most recently with Sky Sports News. Outside of work, Oli has been a sports fanatic his entire life, falling into a long lineage of Tottenham Hotspur fans. He can regularly be found refusing to leave their new stadium or playing American football for the Hertfordshire Cheetahs. You can follow Oli on Twitter: @steinoliver_
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