......................Porter Wilson Award
.................................Birger "Bill" Klitgaard - Holstebro, Denmark
"Ever since you became involved with the IWFFA, you were our Official at every Scandinavian Tournament and Key West.
You have never stopped supporting girls and women's flag football.
Thank you so much for your support"
(Engraved on Porter Wilson Award)
When we first introduced flag football in Scandinavia, and to expand the sport, we understood the need to offer quality tournaments to our athletes because sport is competitive and athletes would need a way to assess their own level of skill in order to become better athletes in the sport. These tournaments would also heighten athletes level of play as competition normally does this. It was tough enough finding athletes to form teams, but it was most difficult to find persons who understood the rules and who would be able to officiate these tournaments. Though American Tackle Football exists in Scandinavia, there was controversy using those Officials if they were available. Our only person qualified and dedicated to our cause was this one man from Denmark: Birger "Bill" Klitgaard.
Bill is from Holstebro, Denmark who has been playing "American Tackle Football" for over 15 years, and coaches. In 2000, when the IWFFA conducted it's six month promotional tour in the Nordic Region, Bill became part of the Denmark promotions by organizing flag football introduction and training in the city of Holstebro.Over two hundred students where throwing, catching, grabbing flags and running with a football that day as they were learning how to play Flag Football for the first time.
Starting up a group of athletes to play Flag Football is one thing, finding coaches to continue the new flag football teams, is the most difficult part of developing the sport of flag football in countries where it is unheard of. In another city in Denmark: TIM, was a group of boys which the IWFFA initiated through some early trainings, who needed a coach desperately. Bill was willing to coach.
Most Dedicated IWFFA Official
As an Official and Coach for American Football, Bill was valuable and very much apart of our Scandinavian Tournaments. Since our Copenhagen Tournament in 2000, Bill has officiated in every IWFFA Scandinavian tournament (the exception of one Swedish tournament), as well as our Key West Tournaments, where he was the Tournament's Head Official.
Players officiating their own tournaments
The night before the tournaments, players would go over mechanics and rules to help prepare for their officiating. Bill would be the "white hat", as the other teams competing in our IWFFA tournaments would have to offer at least two players to officiate in that tournament when their team was not playing. Novice Officials would walk onto the field, who carried support from Bill. By learning how to officiate in this way, today Scandinavia has created some very good and promising Female Officials.
First IWFFA Scandinavian Officiating Training
October 15 - 17, 2004 was the IWFFA's first Officiating Training in Scandinavia which took place in Hjorring, Denmark. This training, encouraged female players to learn how to officiate and to strengthen the women's flag football in those countries. All three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden were represented as the training was hosted by the Danish Devils and instructed by Bill.
Some Amazing Feats
In our 2001 Kelly McGillis Classic in Key West, Bill officiated 7 games - back to back!
In the 4th annual IWFFA / Gothenburg, Sweden tournament 2004, Bill officiated 10 back to back games!
All the years we have offered the Porter Wilson Award - Bill has accumulated the most nominations and votes
Bill has been the most recognized individual for recognition in helping to promote and support Girls and Women's Flag Football. Over the years, Bill has received the most nominations and the most votes (when you add them all up) than any other person.
We are so grateful to Bill for all these years he has been a part of our organization and truly made our Scandinavian Tournaments possible.
His great humor, experience, dedication and care for the Women's Sport brings onto the field one great Official and Human Being.
Our 2005 and 6th recipient of the IWFFA's most prestigious award goes to : Birger "Bill" Kligaard