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NFL To Open Nike-Supported Academy For Young People In London

28 May 2019

NFL To Open Nike-Supported Academy For Young People In London

The National Football League (NFL) is to open a brand new American Football training academy for young people in London.

The new NFL academy will open this September at Barnet and Southgate College in North London, with support from sports brand Nike.

The NFL said that the academy would initially take on eighty 16 to 18 year old student athletes and provide them with ‘life changing’ professional and educational opportunities, training and working with professional American Football coaches and mentors.

As well as opening up new avenues for employment, top performers will also have the chance to play college American Football in the United States for the NCAA.

The UK’s managing director for NFL, Alistair Kirkwood, said the new Academy had been inspired by the League’s previous long term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur. He said it would be the first of a kind, delivering on the three key elements of education, character development and American Football.

Launching the initiative, Mr Kirkwood said: “We are very excited to be working with Barnet and Southgate College, with its excellent academic record. The role of the NFL will be to drive recognition and prestige for the programme, provide technical expertise from a football standpoint and develop the character development curriculum, details of which will follow.”

“To have Nike’s support as a partner is a massive endorsement of the Academy. Their expertise will be a valuable asset and something we know the students will be really proud of and excited about.”

“This is an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of many young people, regardless of their experience of our sport. It is also an opportunity for us to create a pathway for players to get into the American college system and maybe even to the NFL itself,” added Mr Kirkwood.

The Chief Executive Officer of Barnet and Southgate College, Darren Mepham, also commented, saying, “We are proud and excited to be the first UK college to offer this unique programme in partnership with the NFL. It joins a number of other sporting academies offered by the college, highlighting our breadth of experience in delivering these dual programmes.”

“The NFL Academy gives aspiring young American football players or outstanding athletes the chance to develop their skills and knowledge of the game, while also achieving a full-time education. It really is a fantastic opportunity for young people to be able to take a step towards achieving their sporting dreams,” added Mr Mepham.

One of the ambassadors for the new NFL academy is London-born NFL star of the Carolina Panthers, Efe Obada, who will visit the new recruits during their time at Barnet and Southgate College.

“Being from London and having spent time with so many young athletes there, I know how much the NFL Academy will mean to them. To have the chance to pursue American football while receiving an education and other life-changing skills is an awesome opportunity,” said Mr Obada.

“The values that the sport teaches go beyond the field and can help you make more of your life. I am really excited to give the NFL Academy my support and help these young people achieve their dreams,” added the defensive end.

Recruitment will be carried out over the next three months until the end of August. To be eligible for a place at the academy you will need to be aged 16-18 and you must be willing to enrol on a BTEC Level 1, 2 or 3 course, a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma, NVQ Level 2 Coaching, YMCA Personal Training course or an A Level study package.

You can find out more details about this great opportunity on the NFL Academy website.

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