The Tamworth Phoenix Phutures American Football Programme recently returned to training, with its Flag, Youth, and Juniors age group teams having not previously trained since March.
Training is subject to the latest protocols in social distancing and hygiene measures as part of a return to play process designed by the British American Football Association and approved by the UK government, and spirits are high amongst a community of young American football enthusiasts and their families.
“We ensure temperatures are taken, registration’s done, ask general questions to ensure everyone is healthy and hasn’t experienced any symptoms since the last training session. We’ve also introduced the NHS app QR code, to check in, for track and trace purposes,” said Team Manager Ravnit Chatha. “Everyone has been so eager. And it’s just, watching them play, all smiles and grins,”
While Chatha, whose two sons play for and help coach the Juniors under-19 age group team, continues to work from home as a Business Analyst for Barclays, she now makes more use of social media and messages to communicate with parents of players who are no longer permitted to help her keep things organized at training.
Phoenix Phutures Team Manager Ravnit Chatha at practice
“I had other players, parents messaging me saying, “When are we back? When are we returning to training?” So, it’s not having to ensure that your own child is as happy and as positive as they can be while going through lockdown, it was to ensure the other kids were at the same time,” said Chatha on what the outlook was on a safe return to training.
Sanitising equipment and taking temperatures before practice
With an eye on potential friendly games in the new year with progression of the return to play process, Phoenix Phutures have experienced an uptick in newcomers since returning to training, but are inviting more to try out American football.
“All the players have returned to training a lot more fit considering everyone was sat at home without much access to regular training. But the treatment that they get here, they just love it,” added Chatha.
Now training every Sunday at Tamworth’s Rawlett School, Phoenix Phutures provide opportunity for girls and boys of ages 11 to 19 to experience American football, and can be contacted at www.facebook.com/PhoenixPhutures.
Head Coach Karl Burgess leads a socially distanced huddle