As part of the U.S. Mission to Poland’s Sports UP initiative, Josh Crabtree from the U.S. Consulate in Krakow and a group of American soldiers from Bravo Company of the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion of the U.S. Army participated in the grand opening of the American football season organized by the League of American Football in Poland. This year’s football season and the Americans’ presence at the event is part of the centennial celebrations of US-Polish diplomatic relations. The event took place at the Wroclaw Olympic Stadium and featured a football match between the Wroclaw Panthers and the Bialystok Lowlanders. During the official ceremony Consul Josh Crabtree underlined the importance of sports as “yet another thing that connects our communities and our two nations”. To kick off the game Josh performed the official coin toss and both Polish and American flags were carried to the center of the field during the Polish and American anthems. At half time American soldiers went through the crowd, handing out prizes and taking selfies with the audience.
The event is part of the U.S. Embassy’s Sports UP initiative which strengthens relations between the United States and Poland through the promotion of sports, in particular American sports. It connects Poles, and especially the young generation, to the culture of sport in the USA and the values that sport brings – teamwork, responsibility, fitness and tolerance.