IT IS unfortunate that many people only think of helmets, massive shoulder pads and Jarryd Hayne when they think about the game of American Football or Gridiron.
The average Australian doesn’t give themselves the opportunity to learn about a game that requires a similar skill set to the sports they love such as Rugby League, Rugby Union and Aussie Rules, in order to play.
However, there is a group of Gridiron fanatics that can not only talk the talk about America’s most commercially successful sport, but they walk the walk as well.
The Hunter Gridiron League (HGL), created as a local off-season competition from the Sydney based regular Gridiron NSW competition, is the perfect place for any Port Stephens resident to become a lot more acquainted with the game of Gridiron.
For one thing, HGL team “The Bombers” is named in respect of the Williamtown RAAF Base and is largely made up of players from the Port Stephens area.
According to one of the architects of the HGL, Lee Smith, the entire Hunter region was at the forefront of their minds when creating the League’s identity.
“The four team names are drawn to represent areas of the Hunter.
The Bombers represent the Williamtown RAAF Base, the Canons represent Fort Scratchley, the Miners represent the rich mining heritage of the Hunter and the Marauders are a loose connection to the boating lifestyle of Lake Macquarie and coastal areas of the Hunter.”
HGL games are played on Sundays at 12pm and 2pm, with training each Wednesday at 6.30pm, at Walters Park in Speers Point.
Players are 18 years and over, however those who are at least 15 years of age can come to training and learn how to play Gridiron as plans are in place for a range of youth teams in the near future.
Players who find the local HGL rounds spark their love for Gridiron can then get more football for their buck by playing with the Newcastle Cobras team, made entirely from HGL players, in the Sydney based regular season comp with Gridiron New South Wales (GNSW).
HGL registration for the year will also cover players wanting to play in the GNSW season of the same year with the Cobras.
By Rachael VAUGHAN