LONDON — The National Football League today announced a major UK initiative — endorsed by some of the biggest names in sport — that aims to use American football to create life-changing educational and professional opportunities for young people.
The NFL Academy, which begins operations in September 2019, will offer student athletes aged 16-18 the opportunity to combine education with life skills and intensive training in the sport under full-time professional coaches.
Supported by Nike and based at Barnet and Southgate College, in North London, the NFL Academy will provide students with pathways into employment, further education and even the potential opportunity to play NCAA college football in the United States.
“The Academy is a first-of-its kind initiative that will deliver against three key elements: education, character development and football,” said NFL UK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood. “The inspiration for the idea was our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur. As well as playing games at the new stadium, we had a desire to create something meaningful for the community on a year-round basis.
Academy partner Nike will develop and supply apparel and on-field uniforms for the student athletes. “To have Nike’s support as a partner is a massive endorsement of the Academy,” said Kirkwood. “Their expertise will be a valuable asset and something we know the students will be really proud of and excited about.”
Follow the NFL Academy on Instagram and Twitter: @NFLAcademy