The F5 Family Is Set To Grow: Tornadoes merge with the Hertfordshire Cheetahs
The Hertfordshire Tornadoes are delighted to announce that they are now part of the Hertfordshire Cheetahs American Football programe.
The Hertfordshire Cheetahs were established back in the 80s and are one of the longest playing clubs in the UK. After a couple of homes across Hertfordshire, the Cheetahs settled in St Albans in 2014 and since then the relationship between the Cheetahs and the Tornadoes has continued to grow.
Luke Clark, Chairman of the Cheetahs American Football Programme said: “We are delighted we and the Tornadoes are forming a long-term partnership. This will help both the Cheetahs and Tornadoes in putting Hertfordshire on the map as THE place for American Football in the UK.”
We caught up with the Tornadoes Chairwoman Maria Peeters, ahead of the Cheetahs Homecoming game to get her thoughts on the merge.
Q: What does this merge mean for the Tornadoes?
A: To the players and our supporters, not much. The general day-to-day running of the team will continue as normal and De Hav will still be our home for the foreseeable future. The merge does mean that we can get more girls involved with the sport as they will be able to play in the Cheetahs, Flag, Youth and Junior teams. We are really keen to grow grass roots football and to get girls playing the sport, so hopefully, in the not so distant future, females will be appearing on all of the Cheetahs rosters!
Q: You said not much will change, can you enlighten us a little more on this?
A: Luke and I wanted to ensure that the impact on both teams was minimal, and it was something everyone wanted to see happen. We will continue to train on Saturdays at De Hav but our midweek session will move to St Albans Rugby club on Wednesdays. De Hav will still be our home ground for games. There will be a wider amount of resources available to us now which will not only help us achieve results but ensure that American Football in Hertfordshire is completely sustainable going forward.
Q: Is getting more girls involved in the sport something you are passionate about then?
A: Yes, I think if the sport is to continue to grow it is key to get children and teenagers involved. It can be daunting stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new, let alone being the “odd one out”. So hopefully this merge will see more girls signing up and giving the sport a go. I think the Cheetahs having a women’s team under their “banner” will only increase girls participation.
Q: So will you be taking to the field in Cheetahs Yellow/Gold and Black?
A: The Tornadoes are the longest running full contact Women’s American football team in the UK and we are a team rich in tradition. We have always played in purple and our new jerseys are so very beautiful, so no. We will remain in purple and our name won’t be changing. The Purple Power Rangers are very much staying and will be coming back stronger and better than before.
If you want to find out more information about either team or are interested in joining, please check out the team Facebook pages.