By David Williams
Cardiff Valkyries have gone virtual as they bid to encourage more women to take up American Football.
The club may be restricted from playing matches or holding training sessions during the current lockdown, but that has not stopped their determined recruitment drive.
Undeterred, Wales’ only women’s American Football set-up are holding a series of “rookie days” online to introduce new players to the sport and their thriving club.
The Valkyries play a reduced version of the sport with fewer players and on a shortened pitch, but the fundamentals of the sport – running, passing, tackling and blocking – are all there for the newbie.
Valkyries club president Mandy Gould says: “We hosted our first virtual rookie day on January 17 and it was a great turnout.
“We broke down and analysed game footage, discussed positions and gave an insight as to what it is like to play American Football.
“Due to COVID, we have had to postpone our face-to-face rookie days due to various lockdowns.
“However, resilience is one of the team’s core values. Just like during a real game, the Cardiff Valkyries have adapted to whatever is thrown at them.
“When it’s been possible, we have provided COVID compliant training. If there’s been a lockdown, we learn online and exercise together on Zoom.
“Our coaches are incredibly experienced and have created a great online learning platform for days where we cannot be outdoors.”
The next online rookie day is this Sunday, January 24.
The club are hoping for another strong turnout from women and girls interested in playing the sport as those denied their regular sporting outlets look for alternatives.
“I think a lot of people right now are looking for activities that promote physical fitness and wellbeing,” adds Gould.
“Others seek us out because they want to belong to a community. The Cardiff Valkyries can provide both. This is a great time to join the team and learn the sport.”
Recruits keen on attending the virtual rookie sessions should contact the Valkyries on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or send an email to Cardiffvalkyries@gmail.com