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