Touchdown UK

Touchdown UK is a youth development charity which uses American Football to improve mental and physical fitness in 11-18 year olds in partnership with schools, through the Active Schools Programme, and other community agencies utilising school and community facilities.

TDUK use qualified coaches, activity volunteers (often from the local community) and youth workers. All equipment is provided and maintained to a high standard to ensure safety. We work with over 1,000 young people annually in Edinburgh, Fife and Lothians,

read more about us, our history and origins…

...we have had great clubs, seen so many smiles, and witnessed so many young men and women having a moment of revelation as they mastered a skill.

The exciting thing about 2018-19 is the many fantastic opportunities that are presenting themselves to the Charity.
— Development Officer Tom Cramb @ 2018 AGM

Our Aims

1] An increase in self-esteem and self-confidence. When a young person attends our session for the first time they have often never played American football but may have seen it on tv so will have a sense of the newness of the activity, which may result in a lack of confidence. As the young person continues to attend and build relationships within the team with other young people and the activity coordinators, they begin to notice a change in themselves physically and an increase in self -esteem, as a result of positive interactions between the young person and activity coordinator, as well as support for each other among the young participants.

2] An increase in ability to manage personal and social relationships. Any type of team activity encourages communication between participants and the development of social skills, along with friendships between participants.

3] An increase in learning and developing new skills. Learning a new sport involves opportunities for learning physical moves such as ‘plays’ in the execution of the sport as well as mental strategies for winning the game.

It also involves a degree of self- awareness and awareness of other players in your team.

Every move has an impact on more than just the individual and so an awareness of being part of a greater whole, with a common purpose and shared outcomes, the least of these being winning the game, although this is not always remembered by the participant in the heat of the moment! TDUK aims to develop that sense of being valuable to the group and all having a part to play. Winning a game or tournament is secondary, although winning and losing are valuable life lessons in themselves.

4] An ability to contribute to a positive group atmospheres. This is vital to effective TDUK sessions and respecting each other forms part of this process. We also encourage our young people to engage fully in the sessions, so they get the most out of the experience and because our focus is developing our young people, not winning, the atmosphere tends to be light -hearted and fun. 

5] Build the capacity of young people to consider risk, make reasoned decisions and take control. As there is an element of contact in the activities (unexpected rather than planned contact) we explore risk in the context of the activity and encourage the young person to be aware of their own thoughts and feelings about the activities, and feed back to the activity coordinators. This encourages a sense of autonomy, even within a group, and the ability to make reasoned decisions which take into consideration both the individual and the group.

6] Develop a ‘world view’ which widens horizons and invites social commitment. TDUK uses American Football as a vehicle as it is an international sport, played in many countries with a league which exists outside the UK, as well having a UK- based league. Exposure to this sport means exposure to values and cultural norms which are new to the young person or expressed in a new way. This broadens the participants’ awareness of the world outside and their connection to it, hopefully leading to a sense of value within that broader community.

Our Projects & Events

Weekly Projects (During school terms ):

Mondays - The Lothian Storm, Lasswade High School. Lasswade, EH19 2LA. 4 - 5.30pm

Tuesdays - The East Edinburgh Bears, Holyrood RC High School, Edinburgh, EH15 3ST. 4 -5pm

Wednesdays - The Colinton Panthers, Meggetland Sports Pavilion, Edinburgh, EH14 1XN. 4 - 5.30pm

Saturdays - The Ferry Bombers, Queensferry Sports Hub, South Queensferry, EH30 9JN. 10 - Noon.


Support TDUK

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Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand
— Nelson Mandela, 25 May 2000