American football

Scotland hosts the American football European Junior Championships for the first time next month. Six nations will take part, including a Great Britain squad laden with Scots supported by North Lanarkshire Council.

The bi-annual championships are for 15 to 19-year-olds, but Scottish development officer Scott Couper has been working with much younger players to try to ensure continuity.

"Having a professional team in Scotland - the Scottish Claymores - is obviously a help," he points out, "but we are now looking at youngsters from the age of seven or eight.

"I have been spending a lot of time in the schools and the enthusiasm for the game is encouraging. I keep telling them that I was 15 before I touched an American football, so they have seven or eight years of a start on me."

The championships begin at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld, on July 28 and games will also be played at Motherwell's Dalzell Park. Entry is free to schoolchildren.

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