Sunday, May 28, 2023

Ghana hosts the NFL’s first African development camp

It was all fun and excitement at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, where fans of the National Football League, the NFL, gathered to meet football athletes, stars and sports stalwarts.

This is the first time the NFL has held an event in Africa as part of its goal of seeing the game develop outside the United States. According to Damani Leach, Chief Operating Officer, NFL International, the league hopes to increase the number of players from Africa and build up its overseas fan base.

“The United Nations estimates that in the next 30 years, half of the world’s population growth is going to come from Africa,” Leach said. “Therefore, more and more youth across the continent, rapidly urbanizing, more and more people moving to cities, becoming consumers of sports and entertainment. And as it grows and develops, we want the NFL to do with it.” Be in a position to grow and develop.

The week-long event was dubbed NFL Africa: The Touchdown and hosted 49 athletes from seven African countries. Athletes camped and trained alongside professional NFL players, including Ghana’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoa.

The training camp is part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, IPPP, which seeks to identify foreign talent and integrate them into the league.

Former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umeniora talks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (right) before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, October 11, 2015.

Osi Umeniora of Nigeria is a two-time NFL champion with the New York Giants and a leader behind talent hunts in Africa. He said that his goal is to make African athletes champion.

“We have over 100 players of African descent in the NFL right now, and if you look at the trends, you will probably see that 10 percent of the NFL labor force will be coming from Africa very soon,” Umeniora said. And yet, they all wanted to do something back home, but no one really knew what to do. So, what could be better than being here, coming home and giving people the opportunity to be right where you are. And that’s the whole basis behind everything we’re doing.”

According to Albert Allen, head coach of the Ghana American Football Federation, this partnership with the NFL gives Ghanaian players an easier way to play professional football.

Albert Allen, head coach of the Ghana American Football Federation, said, “Before now, we just competed within ourselves. And so now, they have the opportunity to get exposure to make it into the highest level of football, which is the NFL. ,

Another part of the project is to give children the opportunity to learn flag football. In a two-day event, the NFL team coached sports teachers and students from 10 schools in Accra about this less violent version of the game.

Afia Law is the NFL’s head of community and grassroots development. He said the program encourages Ghanaian children to play sports both locally and abroad.

“From here, they’ll go to school and flag (football) and move on to a tournament in November,” Law said. “So, we will hold our first Accra Flag Football Championship, and a team from within those schools will be selected to represent Ghana in the Pro Bowl in the International Division in 2023.

Ghana’s Vice President, Mahamadu Bavumia, commended the initiative and pledged government support to help the NFL grow in Ghana.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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