Kids to the Clubs!
The European League of Football has entered into a cooperation with the American Football and Cheerleading Association Hamburg e.V. and implements various activities with the clubs organized under the umbrella of the AFCVHH. In the first step, league commissioner Patrick Esume and the association, in cooperation with the club officials, will conduct a Junior Player Development (JPD) program. Already agreed upon are two camps, which will take place soon in the Hanseatic city.
"I would like to thank the AFCVHH for the open, trusting and goal-oriented discussions and I am happy that we are joining forces to further develop our sport. Both the European League of Football and the association and its clubs have a strong partner at their side. Our common goal is to get even more girls and boys excited about American football. Through these camps, in which the coaches of all the Hamburg clubs and of course the Sea Devils from the European League of Football will be involved, we want to get the kids motivated to join the clubs and play the best sport in the world," says league commissioner Esume, who has already organized JPD camps of the association in cooperation with the NFL.
"We have been following the development of the European League of Football with great interest and are very pleased that the constructive exchange in recent weeks has led to the new league cooperating with the association and its clubs. We agreed that everyone who loves American football and wants to take it forward will benefit from this", affirms Jens Markmann, 1st chairman of the AFCVHH.
The Junior Player Development (JPD) camps, which are organized by the European League of Football and the federation, are joined by the Hamburg clubs Blue Devils, Huskies, Pioneers, Ravens, Swans and United as well as the Jackrabbits Buxtehude. The representatives of the clubs unanimously assessed the cooperation with the new continental league in a video meeting as positive.
Esume sees this as an important signal for the sport: "We have, of course, heard that the announcement of the European League of Football has not triggered cries of jubilation everywhere. We take an entrepreneurial approach, the league has a business relationship with the franchises. For many, this is a new construct and has certainly triggered reservations. However, from the outset, we have emphasized our belief that different leagues can coexist and can also benefit from each other on balance."
Hamburg is not the first location where franchises and clubs have worked together. The Cologne Centurions have signed a cooperation agreement with the Cologne Falcons where ex-NFL pros Chris Ezeala and Co. will lead training sessions for young players. A similar agreement was also reached between the Leipzig Kings from the European League of Football and the Leipzig Hawks and the Leipzig Lions. Esume: "These are great examples of the path we want to take.“