Burnley Tornados’ flag team up and running

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BURNLEY Tornados’ new flag team went on their first ever away trip across the border into Yorkshire at the weekend.

And while they were defeated, it should not take away the effort and enthusiasm that was shown.

The flag team, aged between nine and 13, is still in its infancy, so this season will be one long learning curve.

The team are pictured (s).

Meanwhile, the club’s youth team host a friendly tournament at the Prairie on March 23rd, featuring teams from East Kilbride and Hamilton in Scotland and Bedfordshire in what promises to be a good warm up to the 2013 season.

Anyone aged nine and above interested in the sport can contact the club via the website www.tornadosafc.com/ or come down on a Saturday morning for 10 a.m. at the Prairie.

All you need to partake are football boots, clothing that you accept will get dirty and the enthusiasm to take part.

The club boast the flag team, the youth team (ages 13 to 17) and the seniors (18 and over), and the sport is open to both males and females, especially in the younger age group.

Flag football is minimal contact, youth and senior is full contact, but all kit is provided on loan.

The Tornados have players from as far a field as Blackburn and Accrington, all the way out to Barrowford and Skipton, and places between, and while the club is called Burnley Tornados and based in Burnley, it is the brand and the family of the Tornados that is to prevail - no one is excluded by location, as long as they can get to the area to participate.

l BURNLEY Tornados have dedicated their table-topping year to the support received from a local business initiative which funded new training equipment and moved them a step closer to creating a new junior team.

Vantage Toyota’s Community Drive competition was set up to recognise the valuable work of charities and community groups in North Yorkshire and Lancashire, and is estimated to have benefitted 1,000 people, including 750 youngsters, since launching last October.

Burnley’s worthy Community Drive winner were the Tornados, who used a £1,400 prize to buy new training equipment for the club - including tackle bags and protective gear.

It took the players to a higher level, making them the toughest tacklers in the league, and drove them to win the Northern Conference championship.

The chairman of the club said the new equipment, which can be expensive to buy, allowed coaches to vary training, improving standards across the club in all areas - and in turn allow it to support the development of a new flag team for nine to 13-year-olds, broadening the opportunity for more Burnley children to get involved in American Football from an early age.

The Tornados were initially set up to provide an opportunity for young players aged 10-16 to try a new sport at no significant cost to themselves.

The club prides itself on helping young people in Burnley and surrounding areas to build team spirit, discipline and self-esteem on the field that will benefit them off the field.

Ivan S. Jackson, Chairman of Burnley Tornados said: “American Football is reportedly the fastest-growing team sport in the UK and we bring this sport to Pennine Lancashire and to the youngsters of the area.

“We’ve had a fantastic year, winning the Northern Conference and coming third nationwide in the Britbowl finals, but the real value of the club is the opportunities it provides to the community here.

“The Community Drive funding paid for essential, and often expensive, equipment that helps us promote the sport in a safe and disciplined way and means we can focus on starting the new junior team.”