Already a big hit in Regina, Flag football is beginning to thrive around the world


Ahead of next weekend’s Super Bowl, the football world is gathering this week in Las Vegas for the National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowl Games.

The NFL players are not the only ones competing, as the NFL FLAG Championships are also taking place in Sin City. One of the teams competing is a U12 team from Regina.

Mike Thomas from Football Saskatchewan joined Michael Ball on the SportsCage on Friday to discuss the local team competing against some of the best teams around the world.

To open up the event, the squad met up with Ghana. Thomas said a highlight was after the game with the teams interacting with each other.

“There was an exchange of clothing and pictures. It’s quite so surreal for these kids and it’s quite the experience. ”

Other international matchups for the Regina team will include Germany and Australia.

Competing against the best teams on an international stage is something that Thomas appreciates. He is hoping for something similar to occur in Canada to help grow the game of flag football.

“There’s an opportunity to showcase players in there elements outside of having a helmet and shoulder pads on and its an event that can help foster that and develop growth in the Canadian game.”

He said the Regina Youth Flag Football League enjoys a successful relationship with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

With the Pro Bowl Games coinciding with the FLAG championships, Thomas noted the kids got the chance to interact with some of the all-stars of the NFL. He said Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins stopped by to speak with the players before their first game. Thomas added that Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill is another NFL player who has been spending time with the flag football athletes.

With the game flourishing, there could be extra benefits for the athletes down the road. Flag football is on the list of sports that might be introduced to the Summer Olympics in 2028 in Los Angeles. Thomas says that has been a hot topic in Las Vegas this week.

“Something that has been augmented and just even highlighted for a lot of these youngsters when that time comes in 28 that they would be in that age range representing some of their countries.”

Growing the sport in the Queen City has not been a problem with over 3,000 athletes competing in flag football in Regina. The one issue with a large number of athletes is that there is a need for more coaches according to Thomas.

He says if there is anyone out there who is looking to give back to the community in a meaningful way, volunteering to coach is a great way to do that.

“Especially with the kids just eager to play and be able to be part of this great game.”

Thomas added that Regina Flag Football League will help out with anyone interested in volunteering as a coach.

“We’ve got a lot of resources that are able to be available both from a printed and a visual standpoint so that it’s something that would help any new person come along with practice plans, sample plays, drills to run.”

More information of the Regina Youth Flag Football League can be found at their website.

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