Article by Tom Green
Last year around in October I got to a stage in my life where I had to change. I was having a lot of difficulties in my personal life and nothing I tried previously was helping. This was due to a break up around a year ago which resulted in months of ongoing conflict with my ex and self enforced isolation from my friends and family. These series of events spiralled me into a deep depression which made me an unpleasant person to be around. At the time the only release I had from all this was watching American Football on the TV (Usually the NFL but I also watched a lot of college football as well).
As my moods got the better of me I attempted to kill myself to try ease the pain I was going through. This lead to me being housebound for a week and seeking out things to pass the time. One of the things I started doing was searching for sports clubs in the area because I had been part of Rugby teams and I still to this day represent my local cricket club. Whilst doing the searching I stumbled across a small locally based American Football team (the Highland Wildcats) and managed to pluck up the coverage to send an email to the head coach to see if I was eligible to play.
To my surprise he invited me down to The Blitz and let me join in the post season practices and attend the annual awards show which the club produces. I was really nervous at heading down to The Blitz as you never know what everyone else is going to think and what I should be doing. The team was practicing for the BLITZ AWARDS and were in the middle of a comedy dance sketch routine when I arrived which made for a very relaxed (maybe partly disturbing) environment! After they finished the rehearsal for the BLITZ AWARDS, I had a go at flag football and enjoyed it a lot.
After this first session I started coming down to The Blitz on a regular basis to train with the players during the off-season. All of them made me feel right at home in the team. I soon became addicted to the club and started joining the strength and conditioning sessions as well as youth panel meetings.
The best thing about the Wildcats for me was that everyone there was, and still are, very friendly and welcoming to new players and since joining my life has been getting better and better.
After getting to know the coaches and players a bit better my confidence started to increase which allowed me to contribute a bit to the organization. I was also allowed to write up match reports and referee games for the HACL which the organisation set up. I met a lot of like minded people who shared the same interests as I do.
Without the Wildcats I don’t honestly know what I would be doing with myself to pass the time. I might have learned all the dialogue in Skyrim but that wouldn’t have been as fun or as interesting as learning how to play the sport or becoming a part of a such a fantastic organisation.
Article by Tom Green