Learning American Football with Casa Mantay

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GirlSportWorks curriculum contains a rotation of seven different sports, and it includes some, such as kickball and American football, which are often completely new to our students. Learning new skills and new rules for an organized game that is completely different can be challenging. But as we continue to introduce new sports and new games to our students we are constantly impressed by how well they adapt to the challenge at hand.

Casa Mantay girls getting ready to receive the ball after kickoff

This week at Casa Mantay, a home and refuge for young mothers in Cusco, we started a new unit on American football. Being our oldest group, these girls are also our most competitive students who are always eager to jump into games at the start of every class. But as we began describing the concept of a first down and how to score points the girls were slightly intimidated by this new sport.

However, after practicing the skills involved in throwing, receiving, and movements on and off the ball, the girls really began to grasp the concept of the game. By the end of class we observed a huge improvement in the attitude of our students. As we sounded the final whistle, many indicated that they didn’t want to stop. Encouraged by their newfound enthusiasm for American football, we are really excited to continue this unit next week.

Group photo after playing a great game of American football

For many, if not all, Peruvians, American football is a completely foreign concept, and this notion was certainly reflected in the fact that several passersby stopped to observe and take pictures of our class. Moreover, for our students it is a new challenge that requires learning new rules and skills.  It is this learning process that makes each sport so rewarding for our girls, and it is this learning process we hope they will use on and off the court.

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