Sandwell Steelers (Women's Team)
We are a female American Football team in the West Midlands. Our focus is providing an environment where the game can be taught and coached at a high level, emphasising individual development and team success.
The women's team formed in January 2014 and is run by a group of volunteers, primarily our general manager Sam Wilson and our Head Coach Sam Rafferty. We are affiliated with the sports national governing body, the British American Football Association (BAFA) and compete in the National Sapphire Series.
This past season, our goal was to transition from five's to the seven-a-side version of the game. We recruited some amazing rookies and ended the season as silver medallists in our Division. Based on our performance the team have been tipped to be promoted to the top tier of women's football in the BAFA National leagues for the upcoming season.
The team has developed significantly over the last couple of years with players and coaches being scouted by the National Team. Most recently four players and three coaches have been invited to trial for the GB Women's team in advance of the European Championships next summer - all of this is possible thanks to the members that volunteer their time to run our amateur team.
We help keep female adults in the Sandwell area active and enable them to train and improve in the sport. American football has a position for everyone, no matter their shape or size and that’s what makes this sport so special. Our team is full of all kinds of different women and every one of them has a part to play in helping our team succeed.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
American football is quite an expensive sport to deliver in the UK due to the specialist nature of the equipment and the relative 'newness' of the sport in Britain. This can be a barrier to entry for some female players. For example to kit out just one player in a helmet and shoulder pads costs around £300. Therefore we would use this funding to contribute to team running costs and purchase equipment to ensure our subscription fees remain affordable for players.
"Libby Davoren, Defensive Captain: I joined the Sandwell Steelers back at the start in 2014 and its been amazing to see the team grow from our humble beginnings to the position we are in now. The team is brimming with talent in both players and coaches and I'm excited to see what happens next!"