AN American football team has been set up in Portchester in a bid to keep youngsters off the streets and out of trouble.
The team, for boys aged between 11 and 16, has been set up by police.
Sergeant Jerry Tremellen said: ‘It’s another sport where they can burn off some energy and it encourages teamwork and leadership as opposed to causing trouble on the streets.
‘It will help reduce anti-social behaviour.
‘It shows that the police and youths can work together. The kids can’t get enough of it. These boys are so committed to learning the game.
‘It’s an honour being around them.
‘I guess that there’s an element of being friends with police staff and I think they enjoy seeing us in a different light away from work.’
American football has become popular in the UK, with a game from the National Football League (NFL) now played at Wembley Stadium once a year.
Most of the youngsters involved in the team are from the Portchester area, and now Sgt Tremellen is hoping to encourage new players from across the area to join the team.
The team has been provided with uniforms thanks to money from the Portchester Society, police funding and children’s services.
‘It’s a great situation to be in as a police officer and someone who loves teaching the game,’ he added.
‘By the spring, they will really feel what it’s like to be in an American football team, playing at an advanced level for what is expected at their age.’
To find out more information about joining the team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.