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Saints to host NFL Mexico Tochito champion team

By Annie Hills

The New Orleans Saints teamed up with NFL Mexico to visit with kids playing flag football in Queretaro, Mexico in March. The champion team, Coahuila, from that event will play a Hispanic New Orleans flag football team during a Saints 2015 preseason game.

The National Championship Tournament was held for 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls at Unidad Deportiva Reforma Lomas in Queretaro, Mexico from March 19 to March 22.

The weekend event involved a 25-team tournament, the NFL's 'Play 60' campaign activation, an NFL Tochito visit in physical education classes at Colegio Fray Luis La Joya and a varsity tackle football game between Patriotas Queretaro and Aguilas Blancas. The tournament included players from 25 of the 32 states in Mexico.

Jesús Alvarez, Social Responsibility and Events, NFL Mexico invited New Orleans Saints Community Affairs Associate Adriel Rocha to visit and tell the young athletes about the opportunity for the champion team to visit New Orleans. Alvarez led the various events in March for NFL Mexico's flag football program, Tochito.

"We really appreciate the presence of the Saints in this important event for the Flag Football Program in Mexico," Alvarez said. "The fact that the champion team will attend a Saints game next season is going to be a lifetime experience for the kids. We look forward to organizing more activities."

Rocha helped at the event at Unidad Deportiva Reforma Lomas Queretaro. Last fall, Rocha initiated a special event for the Saints as part of the NFL's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting an NFL 'Play 60' Character camp at Esperanza Charter School in New Orleans.

"Our involvement in the Hispanic community is imperative to the stability and success of our team. We look forward to hosting the NFL Tochito champion in New Orleans this fall," Saints President Dennis Lauscha said.

Football has a growing fan base in Mexico. NFL fans in Mexico have grown 366 percent from 2007 until 2014. Football is now the second most popular sport in Mexico behind soccer. 

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