NFL stadium alert for Logan

A non-contact form of gridiron football is set to take Logan by storm thanks to a new partnership with the NFL.

Local high schoolers got their first glimpse into “flag football” last week – a kid-friendly, non-contact form of American Football similar to Oz-tag – with a training session led by former NFL wide receiver Kenny Stills.

Mr Stills, who played with the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints, spent the last week training around 40 girls and boys from four local highschools for an upcoming competition to be hosted at Logan Metro Sports Fields next month.

The winning team will earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Ohio, USA this July for the international NFL Flag Summer Invitational.

Mr Stills said the students showed great promise.

“I was very impressed – there’s a lot of talent here, both boys and girls, and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to progress and learning about what happens in the competition phase,” he said.

“I remember what it was like to be their age, and to have hopes and dreams of having success… so it’s an opportunity to come speak some life, but also to have some fun and to share the skillset that I’ve mastered for 25 years.

The flag football competition will be played out among 12 teams from the state’s south east, including teams from six Logan schools: Trinity College Beenleigh, Mabel Park SHS, Marsden SHS, Flagstone State Community College, Woodridge SHS, and Springwood SHS.

The tournament will be played on Friday 21 June.

Logan mayor Jon Raven said securing this partnership was part of council’s 2032 Olympic roadmap.

“[NFL] wanted to start bedding down into south-east Queensland, and why wouldn’t you choose Logan – we’re the youngest, fastest growing, most diverse city in the state, and now we’re the most talented too,” he said.

He said flag football was one of the many sports council would aim to secure in the city as the Brisbane Olympics approaches.

“We’ll see a lot more sports like baseball that Australian’s don’t think of as headline sports, but the world does,” he said.

“And when the world is watching, you want to have an Australian team that can stand toe-to-toe with the giants.

“The more diversity we’ve got for kids with sport, the more choices they can make about doing something constructive with their time.”

The general manager for NFL Australia and New Zealand, Charlotte Offord, said American football was taking off in Australia.

She predicted the same for flag football.

“It’s a fun way to engage with kids and to get girls and boys playing together non-contact,” she said.

Ms Offord said Logan’s values and goals aligned with the NFL’s, making it the perfect Australian partner.

Cr Raven said council’s Olympic roadmap was more than sports partnerships; it involved pushing to “get the most out of the Olympics for Logan”.

He said he was “working on” securing the city more than just one Olympic venue.

“I’d love us to have an event here, but more importantly I want a legacy where we see a lot of facilities built here,” Cr Raven said.

“We’ve got the indoor sports facility on the way, which is a good start.”

He said he would love to see an outdoor, rectangular stadium in Logan.

“Why not have an NFL stadium in south-east Queensland, because no one else has got it,” he said.

“There’s all sorts of options that only the Olympics creates.”


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