The Bears and New York Jets celebrated the success of the inaugural Bears and Jets United Kingdom NFL Girls Football Flag League Monday at a championship event in West London.
Ealing Fields defeated Beaconsfield 38-12 to win the title, setting up a meeting with a German-based team in October at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Ealing Fields will also be honored on the field before an NFL game at the stadium.
The Bears and Jets launched the league in March in West London with support from Nike. Receiver Chase Claypool and Jets tight end C.J. Uzomah attended the event, participating on a panel discussion and conducting drills for about 100 girls ages 12-14 competing in the league.
The 12-team league—which consisted of two six-team conferences—played its games over a five-week span at the Ealing Trailfinders Sports Club every Thursday. All 12 teams participated in Monday’s championship event. Off the field, the girls and their family and friends were treated to an American style BBQ with a DJ.
The league is already planning for its second season in 2024.
“This is only the beginning for the Bears’ involvement in bringing girls flag football in the UK,” said Matt Simeone, Bears director of community and alumni relations. “We know that young girls gain transferable skills from taking part in flag football, and we want to ensure that girls in the UK have the same opportunity to take part as those in the US.”
The Bears have been instrumental in the growth of female flag football in Illinois, seeing a 300% increase in just one year, with 1,200 girls in the state now participating in flag leagues.