Belfast Telegraph

Sporting event to kick off exposure for local charity

by Michael Bashford

It may be an up-and-coming sport here but American Football teams from across the country will come together this weekend to participate in the inaugural Irish American Football League (IAFL) Charity Shield.

The charity tournament to support the work of the Stroke Association of Northern Ireland is being hosted by Belfast Trojans’ player/coach and former NFL linebacker Rob Lyttle.

Lyttle said: “I strongly believe that sport should bring people together and contribute to the development of the local community.

“American Football is a growing sport in this region and it is only right that we should support the work of organisations like the Stroke Association.

“The American Football League will put on a great show and we hope that as many local people and families as possible will come to see us in action, have a fun day out and most importantly show their support for a great local charity in the process.” Teams including current IAFL Champions Dublin Rebels, as well as Craigavon Cowboys, Carrickfergus Knights and Belfast Trojans, will compete in support of the charity and CEO Tom Richardson is extremely grateful for the opportunity to be involved with the event.

Mr Richardson said: “We are very grateful for the support of the Irish American Football League.

“Twelve people a day have a stroke in Northern Ireland; four will recover, four will have a permanent disability and four will die. It is extremely important therefore that we continue to improve our response to this issue.

“The Belfast Trojans will also be supporting our FAST (Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems, Time to call 999) campaign to raise awareness of stroke detection.”

East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle has also added his support to the event and is pleased to see local sport giving back.

“It is great to see a local team like the Belfast Trojans welcoming players from all over Ireland to showcase American Football and the positive contribution it can have in the region,” he added.

The Belfast Trojans will play host to the inaugural IAFL Charity Shield on Sunday, August 29, starting 12pm at Aircraft Park, Holywood Road, Belfast.

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