Established as recently as 2019, Third Down was first formed to promote the fast-growing sport of flag football to youths. Throughout the pandemic, they realized that Malaysian success in Flag Football was a real possibility and decided to diversify their interest to provide supporting avenues of service to the Malaysian flag football community which includes training, certification, events, and equipment.
As of now, Third Down is currently invested in preparing our energetic youths for both local and international tournaments, including the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, United States.
Founded by Porter Wilson, a man who invented flag-a-tag belts & flags used as equipment to play sports. Flag football is a non-contact version of American football that is typically played in a 5v5 format. Instead of tackling an opponent, players pull the flags located on either side of an opposing player’s waist to stop the run. This is much safer than the tackling seen in traditional US-American football and much more sustainable for youths.
The sport is growing rapidly around the world and it is quite lucrative as it is a multibillion dollar sport in America. It was included in the 2022 World Games and is at the final stages of being included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. With such a fast growing sport, backed by billions of dollars in funding, the youths of Malaysia get to benefit from an abundance of activities and opportunities if they choose to pursue this trending sport.
While it is a sport with unlimited potential, promoting it has its challenges as Third Down was an unknown company promoting a relatively obscure product in Malaysia.
“Compared to businesses with investor funding, our partners invested their own personal time and money into the company.” - Founders of Third Down
Couple that with the Covid-19 pandemic. That is two years of inactivity. However, we Malaysians never give up and never say die. Once the world began to heal and bounce back, Third Down wasted no time getting back on its feet. As of now, Third Down is Malaysia’s first and only USA Football-certified flag football training and consulting company.
The company has recently begun their first phase strategy to promote the sport.
“We start out by introducing flag football to private and international schools as part of their Co-curriculum activities (CCA) and grow from there. Aside from schools, we have a diversified portfolio of services that include organizing youth days, selling premium flag football equipment and networking with relevant partners to grow the sport. “
At the time of writing, Malaysia is currently bidding to host the Asia Continental Flag Football Championships. If successful, Third Down will use that as a stepping stone to further promote the sport in the country and bid for more international tournaments as well as work to get flag football included in the Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games) and other distinguished events.
“As the saying goes, “the youth are our future” and Third Down takes that very seriously. We believe in sustainability and what’s more sustainable than the youth of our country. “
Third Down is working hard to promote the sport to Malaysia’s youths so that when flag football is included in the 2028 Olympics, they can work together with Malaysia’s government and the regulatory body for American football in the country to send an energetic and lively team of youths to represent the country.
Third Down believes that Malaysia is not lacking development for sports, but lacking development for a diverse range of sports.
"There are hundreds of other lesser known sports in the country that deserve attention and recognition from the government, but for the main sports that are currently being played in Malaysia like soccer, basketball, badminton, rugby, there is healthy development for current and future generations. We just need to raise awareness for other sports so that Malaysians have more choices."
When asked if they thought local athletes are getting sufficient support or not, and whether it led them to give up on their dreams, the founders had this to say:
"There needs to be a sustainable system put in place for local athletes. An early, mid, and future stage of development. What we can currently see for select sports is there are early and mid stages of development but what happens after? Additionally, it comes back to our previous point: there needs to be more attention for other sports to make competitiveness balanced. With a population of 32.7 million people and only four mainstream sports that are given government and corporate support, it becomes highly competitive leading to a lot of disappointment. "
Third Down also made some statements about the sports education system in Malaysia:
“Elevate the quality of sports education in the country that is on par with international standards, streamline regulatory bodies for all sports, have government intervention for sports associations and limit private equity in a sports association. “
It is not to be denied that Flag Football will probably be the sport to beat in the coming few years. It is really good to see a group of Malaysians doing their best to promote a sport to the youths of Malaysia. As the saying goes… “the youths are our future.” Let’s give them the support they need and promote Flag Football all around Malaysia! Thank you for reading my Over friends. See you in the next one.