American Sports in Tyneside
In Tyneside there are many links to the United States, one of the most popular links is team sport. The popularity of Basketball and American football is increasing in the local area and the British American Football Association has three teams from Tyneside competing in their leagues. The Gateshead Senators and the Newcastle Vikings compete in the NFC league whereas the Newcastle Blackhawks participate in the Northern Flag football league.1 The Tyneside area also has three successful American football teams in the university league. The Northumbria Mustangs, the Newcastle Raiders and the Sunderland Spartans all play in the Tier one Border Division. The Newcastle Raiders is one of the oldest university teams in the United Kingdom as it was established in 1985 when the national league first began.2
Another popular game that is played in Tyneside is basketball, this is a very successful sport in the area as the Newcastle Eagles won the 2014 championship and are currently the leading team in the 2015 championship, the Eagles are one of the most successful basketball teams in English history having won the highest number of championships since the league began.3 The Eagles are closely linked with Northumbria University as their home stadium is Sports Central at Northumbria and are part of Team Northumbria which is the collection of the universities sports teams. Newcastle and Sunderland universities also have men and women’s basketball teams that compete in the same league as the Northumbria teams.
Therefore sports play a key role in the strength of the connection between Tyneside and the United States.
1 ‘British American Football League Official Site’, 2015, http://www.britishamericanfootball.org/, Accessed 14th February 2015.
2 ‘British University and College Sport’,2014, http://www.bucs.org.uk/bucscore/Search.aspx, Accessed 15th February, 2015.
3 2014. ‘Newcastle Eagles Official Site’, http://www.newcastle-eagles.com/, Accessed 16th February, 2015.