The NFL has today announced the launch of a UK version of its flagship US charity, with a pledge to invest £1million in projects to support young people in London.
The NFL Foundation UK will set out to tackle inequality and a lack of opportunities among 12-20-year-olds and will eventually aim to expand around the country.
However, the initial seven-figure sum, funded jointly by the league and the Greater London Authority, will provide around 10 community organisations in the capital with grants, training and equipment over a two-year period from April 2022.
“American football is going from strength to strength in London and it was fantastic to see the NFL return to the capital on the weekend,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who was this afternoon attending the charity’s launch event in Tottenham alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“This new joint £1m investment from City Hall and the NFL will use the power of sport and communities to bring young people - particularly women and girls from diverse backgrounds - together; helping them to develop new skills and working to empower them to be everything they want.”
The move is the latest indication of the NFL’s commitment to growing the sport and its presence in the UK beyond the hosting of regular season matches in London, the 30th of which takes place between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
In 2019, the league launched its first academy outside North America and the project, based at Southgate College in Barnet, has already seen several students earn American football scholarships to US universities.
As well as its work with community groups, the NFL Foundation UK is to provide financial aid to students at the academy to ensure travel and living costs are not prohibiting factors.