American football, known in the United States as football, is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.3 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the ball to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent’s goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense’s end zone for a safety.
American football is fast catching up in Kenya. The University of Nairobi American football club called NYATI will soon be on a professional tour around East Africa. The team recently acquired full body kits and the right attitude to go with it. The players are or were former Mean machine Rugby team players.
I had an opportunity to watch the team train last Saturday. They are quite impressive- as violent as the NFL- and most importantly organized. By watching them train, it was not that difficult to see that they have great expectations from the university administration to support their cause to make the sport grow in the east African region.
I spoke to one of the player… a well built brown chap,
“we have been training for over a year now, and its time we had a tour to showcase our skills. We are greatful to our sponsors who are doing everything they can.” said George a defensive player in the Nyati team.
The Nyati team spirit is one that should not just die yet due to lack of competition. The lack of competitors should see them through as the pioneer College American Football team in Kenya.
Find out more about NYATI on Facebook