The New York Jets and Chicago Bears will be part of a new initiative to launch a girls flag football league in London ©IFAF

A pioneering girls flag football league in London was launched on International Women's Day with the assistance of two ambassadors from International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and National Football League (NFL) Global Flag Football.

Ambassadors Phoebe Schecter, a Great Britain international, and Chase Claypool, a wide receiver for the NFL Chicago Bears, were the advocates for this movement.

Schecter, also the athlete lead on IFAF's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, spoke on the importance of flag football, which is currently bidding for inclusion on the Olympic programme at Los Angeles 2028. 

"Flag football is a sport where everyone’s qualities and differences can be a strength," said Schecter

"Those kids who don’t think sport is for them - they find a place in flag football.

“I love seeing the transformation that happens when a girl throws a football for the first time. 

"It’s genuinely empowering.

“What’s also crucial is how flag football is creating genuine, visible role models and pathways for women and girls in American football, really for the first time.

“We’ve seen it with Diana Flores and The World Games and, who knows, the girls here might even have the opportunity to become Olympians one day and inspire millions more girls and women. 

"That representation is so important."

The league will involve girls aged 12-14, who are due to compete in two conferences made up of six teams.

The competition is scheduled to last last five weeks, starting April 20 this year, and finishing with a head-to-head between the two conference leaders for the championship on May 22.

NFL teams New York Jets and Chicago Bears will be running the league, with each club controlling a conference each.

The Jets and the Bears are both influential in the quick growth of female flag football in the United States.

The Jets now have 110 squads in New York and New Jersey, growing from eight in only three years.

The Bears have witnessed a 300 per cent growth in only one year, with more than 1,200 girls participating in flag football leagues.

The league will last five week, with two teams leading their conferences be facing off in the championship ©IFAF
The league will last five week, with two teams leading their conferences be facing off in the championship ©IFAF

There will be panellists also promoting the event, including Sky Sports presenter Hannah Wilkes and Britain rugby sevens star Celia Quansah.

Others helping to publicise the event will be Britain flag football player and NFL UK head of community Development Afia Law.

C.J. Uzomah, a tight end for the Jets tight end, and Ugo Monye, a former England rugby union player and Board member of the Women’s Sports Trust, have also been signed up to promote the new initiative.