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Michael Bennett gives his backing to JagTag Schools Programme

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Jags player Michael Bennett visited a London school on his recent trip to the capital to give his backing to a new youth touch American football programme.

The Jags partnered with Dunraven Secondary School in Streatham last year to roll out the pilot scheme of a version of JagTag.

JagTag was originally launched last year to provide a simplified, non-contact version of the game suitable for mixed genders, age groups and abilities.  After launching, the Jags recognised an opportunity to use this simple format of the game to engage school children with American Football and to promote an active lifestyle.

The pilot scheme for JagTag has gained instant success regularly catering to more than 100 students every week, and is now being expanded from two schools into four in the capital. To celebrate this promising start, Jags defensive tackle Michael Bennett spent time at the school as part of his visit to London for the NFL Draft.

 
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Whilst at the school, the 23-year-old spoke at an assembly, talking about his journey to the NFL and answering questions from pupils, before joining youngsters and PE teachers to for a JagTag training session.

He said: "It's great to come to the UK and see how the Jags and American Football are creating fun opportunities for school children.  I was lucky enough to join in with a JagTag session at Dunraven and we had an awesome time!  The game is ideally suited to children as it's easy to learn and it was fantastic to see so many youngsters smiling and throwing a ball around.  The game seems to have really caught on here and so I really hope more schools can adopt the JagTag programme to get young people involved in an active lifestyle and with the sport that I love."

Bennett was visiting the UK for the NFL Draft.  Bennett has a special affinity with London after he became the first ever player in the NFL Draft to have their pick announced outside of the US, when Jaguars fan George Bedford made the live pick from a London studio in 2015.

Bennett also made time to go for lunch with a group of students who had found participating in JagTag had helped them not only with their health and fitness, but also with social skills and all round confidence.

Barney Day, Head of Year 11 and PE Teacher at Dunraven Secondary School, said: "The response from our students to JagTag has been superb.  It's given our pupils something new and exciting to try.  Some of our kids aren't into the mainstream sports on the curriculum but they've come and tried JagTag and they've loved it.  It's brought certain youngsters into sport participation where otherwise they wouldn't be engaging with physical activity. 

"It's also been a brilliant way to involve our girls in sport, which can be an issue at secondary school age, as JagTag is so well suited to mixed participation.  Another benefit that we've seen is that the Year 9 students have started to support and encourage the younger kids, like the Year 7s, helping them learn and enjoy the game."

People of all ages can play JagTag.  The JagTag Playbook is available online and is an easy-to-follow, illustrated guide to playing the game.  Click here: www.jagtag.com to learn more.

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