On Sunday 28th January, I went along to ParkLives Southampton’s Flag Football session. Flag Football is the non-contact version of American Football where tackles are made by pulling a flag off another player. It is a mix of American Football and Tag Rugby, so having never seen an American Football game and not played Tag Rugby for 12 years, I was a bit unsure about what to expect!

The session was a lot of fun. We started off with a quick warm-up to get our heart-rates going before playing the classic school playground game ‘Bulldog.’ After this, we did some drills and played a short, relaxed game. Although not naturally gifted, I managed to learn some basic tackling skills and catching techniques. I might even watch the American Football next time it’s on TV!

Flag Football has been running as part of Southampton ParkLives since October 2016 by Session Leader and Active Community Campaign Coordinator, Nick Coe. It is a new sport in the UK and teams are being set up all over the place, both competitive and non-competitive. As well as an opportunity to have some family fun, Flag Football is also a great opportunity to make friends; Nick’s session had a hugely friendly and sociable atmosphere.

These fantastic sessions last for 45 minutes, close to the Bellemore entrance to Southampton Common at 12 noon every Sunday and are suitable for all ages 4+. Adults are encouraged to join in to help encourage kids. No need to be super-fit, just come along and have a go… you won’t regret it. Bring some trainers (or boots if it has been raining) and prepare to get muddy!

[Please note that during February the Flag Football sessions will be taking place on the Artificial Pitches at the Outdoor Sports Centre]


By Ella Garner