Norwich women's American Football team tackling sporting stereotypes
- Credit: Archant
Training is back in full swing for the region's only women's American Football team which has seen a rise in interest as it tackles the stereotype of the sport.
The Norwich Devils women side has yet to take to the field for a competitive match due to the pandemic but has gained a number of new members ahead of its new season.
The team were formerly the Iceni Spears but came under the Norwich Devils team, which has had a men's team since 1984.
With no other women's sides in the region, the team will be playing matches in Peterborough, London and Leicester when the season hopefully gets under way this summer.
Vicki Cecconi, who has been at the side since it was Iceni Spears, said: "70pc of our members are new. We are basically a new team.
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"The pandemic stopped us from starting our season training, it stopped us for a long time. As soon as we started then we stopped again. We got people up for it taught new techniques and they couldn't do that for another five months. There was a lot of stop-start."
The 38-year-old from Norwich has always enjoyed the sport but the Iceni Spears did not play in the league leading her to travel to Birmingham to play.
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She added: "There are more teams than you would think. I would say around 30 to 40 teams in the UK, including Wales and Scotland."
The main challenge around the women's game she said was finding kit and changing the views the game was a man's game - but that more women were trying the game.
Mrs Cecconi said: "I do expect it to grow. We have about 22 players in the roster.
"People do look down at American Football as a sport, because of wearing the protective gear. It's thought not as hard as rugby. In terms of women specifically, it's seen as a very masculine sport.
"They do not think they're the right body type, and they haven't done any exercise since they were at school. They have changed and their bodies have changed. In American Football it doesn't matter - there's a role for them in the team.
"It's an incredible group of people."