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NFL UK Combine School Challenge

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  • By NFL UK NFL International
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We invite you to take part in this year's NFL Combine School Challenge. The aim of the Challenge is to get as many children as possible taking part in NFL Combine drills, which are used to test power, speed, agility and reaction time. We'd love you to share your school combine photos and videos with us.

The NFL Combine School Challenge is a great way to get children taking part in a range of different movements and a great way to understand the first important event of the NFL season.

Every school that sends in photos or videos of their children taking part in the combine will receive an NFL School Combine Challenge certificate, along with an NFL prize.

This document outlines everything you will need to take part in the challenge. Feel free to take part in as many or as few of the drills as you like.

Send your photos and videos to uk.flag@nfl.com and follow all of the NFL news on our Twitter and Instagram pages @NFLUK.

We look forward to seeing some great combine action from schools all over the country. Thank you to all the schools that have taken part so far!

For NFL fans, the Scouting Combine is renowned as an annual event for coaches and scouts of all 32 franchises to examine hundreds of the most talented college players ahead of the Draft.

But perhaps less familiar to the sport's UK fans is the alternative NFL Combine that is fast emerging across Britain, still featuring many of the traditional events - from the 40-yard-dash to the broad jump - but with a much different demographic. Rather than the cream of the US college American footballing world, this version is putting UK schoolchildren between the ages of 8-11 years old through their paces. NFL UK put forward the 'NFL Combine Scouting School Challenge' earlier this year and, since then, 38 UK schools have instigated the after-school programme with around 1,100 children taking part so far.

Last month, NFL UK visited one of the schools putting on their own weekly Combine, at The Orion Primary School in Edgware, London. With around 25 excited school children taking part, they were split into various groups for the different exercises: 40-yard-dash, 3-cone drill, shuttle run, vertical jump and broad jump.

Hugh Wilkinson, lead coach for several NFL activities at The Orion Primary School, including the NFL Combine Challenge, explained why the new after-school sessions are succeeding in capturing the youngsters' imaginations and proving so popular:

For the kids to be able to look at a professional athlete and see how close they are to that player, it gives them a perspective of how skilled, powerful and quick these athletes are. It then gives them something to aspire to, so they'll say: 'I want to run quicker, I want to jump higher.'

I definitely recommend other schools to get involved with it. It allows them to try new things, then they go away and research it. It's a great process because they're developing their knowledge about the sport and their love for it.

Hugh himself has lived in the UK capital for most of his life and is adamant initiatives like the NFL Combine that excite and engage kids from an early age can be an invaluable tool for helping young people make a positive start in life.

He added: Sport is very much transferrable to everyday life, the way in which you conduct yourself. The NFL ethos helps kids understand how you should do things moving into adulthood: the teamwork, the camaraderie, the respect, the competitiveness, the freedom to express yourself.

It's always been said that a lot of these issues that we have - and it's a particularly hot topic at the moment with the knife violence in London - the main reason young people get involved with gangs is to be a part of something. If you're a part of NFL, a team, a group, you're a part of something, something positive

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