Schoolchildren from London's Little Ealing Primary School will travel to Las Vegas to represent the UK at the 2023 Pro Bowl after winning the NFL Flag National Championship held at Loughborough University.
A total of 12 primary school teams qualified for the finals after months of regional competition and more than 100 boys and girls were cheered on by NFL stars as they participated in the non-contact, five-a-side version of American football.
The teams in action were as follows:
- Angram Bank – Sheffield
- Little Ealing – London
- Fielding - London
- Turnham – London
- Bury – Huntingdon
- Middleton – Peterborough
- Sunningwell – Oxford
- St. Mary's Hall Stoneyhurst – Manchester
- Ysgol Gwynedd – Flintshire
- Lings – Northamptonshire
- Blidworth Oaks – Nottinghamshire
- Castle Bromwich Junior School – Birmingham
Among the special guests in attendance were Denver Broncos Super Bowl-winning, all-star quarterback Russell Wilson; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn; Washington Commanders British defensive end Efe Obada; New York Giants Scottish punter Jamie Gillan; Houston Texans British defensive lineman Adedayo Odeyele, Texans defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and former NFL defensive back and current BBC and Sky Sports pundit Jason Bell.
All the onlooking NFL stars were impressed and excited by the American football skills of the boys and girls in action, helping to create a lifetime of memories for the young players who took centre stage at the new home of the NFL Academy.
After a day of exhilarating competition, the final served up plenty of drama as Little Ealing defeated St. Mary's Hall Stoneyhurst from Manchester 12-6 in sudden-death overtime, booking their trip to the United States to represent the UK at the NFL's annual all-star game.
As well as taking part in the flag tournament, the children were treated to an entire day of NFL-style entertainment which included face painting, hair braiding, quarterback games, a photo wall and testing their wingspan against Efe Obada.