MERSEYSIDE Nighthawks, the Birkenhead Park-based American Football team, has started acampaign to get the sport into schools.
Founded in 1986, the Nighthawks are Merseyside's only British American Football League (BAFL) registered team.
Managed by Sue Clark, who is the only female manager in the league, they have recently secured the services of ex-NFL player, Charles Holland Sr, as head coach.
Gary Lee, 44, former player and advisor to the club said: "We've been in to a few schools, Foxfield school in Wirral and most recently Melling Primary School in Liverpool, and would now like to take our sport into schools across Merseyside.
"Weoffer pupils an introduction to American Football through our fun taster sessions and we'd like to see American Football being integrated into the school curriculum."
Nighthawks linebacker, Sean Mooney, said: "We can provide structured activity for interested players aiding fitness and discipline.
"We also provide under-privileged people with expensive kit and training, so they can play a sport that would be otherwise unavailable."
Gary is concerned that thereis not enough focus being put on what he calls 'minority sports'.
He added: "Primarily in Britain, we are a football orientated nation but we would liketo give people a different option.
"American Football is a high-impact and very exciting sport that can be enjoyed by a range of people."
The club have secured new equipment thanks to funding through an 'Awards for All' sports grant and have applied to use the Liverpool 08 Capital of Culture logo on their shirts in 2007.
Gary said: "As the only official American Football side on Merseyside, we want to fly the flag for Liverpool 08."
The Nighthawks are preparing to battle it out next season in Division Two North, as part of a 10 game season that runs from April through to August and culminates in the play-offs during September.
Gary'sson Ben, 22, has been playing American football since the age of seven and now plays for the Nighthawks.
He said: "There's an age-old argument that American Football is just rugby with the pads on, but I believe the only similarities lie in the shape of the ball and the posts. It's a brilliant sport.
"The Nighthawks are a real family unit, regardless of whether we have an absolute stormer or a poor game we always come off the field laughing and joking as friends."
* If you are interested in either training with or watching the Nighthawks youcan ring the club on 07845-605020. Training sessions take place at Birkenhead Park Rugby Club on Sundays at noon.