(L-R) Jane Hunt MP, Stuart Andrew MP, Professor Mark Lewis, Professor Nick Jennings, Brett Gosper (Head of Europe & UK for the NFL), Professor Andy Harland.

(L-R) Jane Hunt MP, Stuart Andrew MP, Professor Mark Lewis, Professor Nick Jennings, Brett Gosper (Head of Europe & UK for the NFL), Professor Andy Harland.

Minister for Sport Stuart Andrew MP visits NFL Academy at Loughborough

Stuart Andrew MP – Minister for Sport, Tourism and Civil Society – visited both Loughborough University and Loughborough College on Thursday 19 January to see first-hand the positive impact the National Football League (NFL) Academy is having on the region.

He received a tour of the University’s Sport Technology Institute before a meet and greet with key partners from the University, College, the NFL, and Loughborough MP Jane Hunt. Minister Andrew then visited Loughborough College to learn more of the players’ education setting and the sporting opportunities that the NFL Academy creates for young people.

The Minister also spoke at length with Academy players who are benefiting from the Loughborough sporting ecosystem.

The NFL Academy relocated to Loughborough University and Loughborough College at the start of the 2022-23 academic year and engages students aged 16-19 with pathways into employment, further education, and the opportunity to play NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) college football in the United States.

Working closely with the NFL international team, the College provides high-quality coaching, education, accommodation, and pastoral support to its cohort of players, while the University’s performance staff and world-class facilities give dedicated focus on their physical development.

Stuart Andrew MP, said: “It was great to see first-hand the work the NFL Academy, Loughborough University and Loughborough College are doing to improve life chances for young people.

“Giving kids the opportunity to get the best start in life is a key priority for the Government, and sport contributes so much to the development of teamwork and leadership skills, as well as improving mental and physical health and wellbeing.”

Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Stuart Andrew MP, Jane Hunt MP, and colleagues from the NFL to campus.

“Today’s visit allowed us to shine a spotlight on our exciting partnership with the NFL Academy and highlight how the athletes benefit from our world-class sporting ecosystem. The tour of the Sport Technology Institute also highlighted our ground-breaking research that continues to shape and define the sporting landscape.”

Jo Maher, Principal and CEO, Loughborough College added: “We were delighted to welcome Minister Andrew to Loughborough to showcase the fantastic NFL Academy partnership between the College, the University and NFL International which provides an opportunity for young players to become part of a world-renowned centre of sporting excellence.

“It was a great opportunity for the Minister to see the facilities on offer and to hear first-hand from our NFL students about how transformative and life-changing the Academy is.”

Recruitment for the 2023/24 cohort of NFL Academy players is now open. More information on how to apply can be found here: www.nflacademy.com


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/13

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.