The NFL Academy’s very own 2023 KICKOFF took place as the program’s new academic year and football season got underway late last month.
Headquartered at Loughborough’s world-renowned centre of sporting excellence in the UK, the program is delivered in partnership with Loughborough College and Loughborough University. The program will support 62 students from 13 countries across the 2023-24 academic year.
The NFL invited media partners from UK and Germany for an ‘access all areas’ immersion into the elite football development program and to learn more about the League’s global football development efforts.
The itinerary included insight into their day-to-day operations, from their gym sessions to film study to on-field practice as they look ahead to the upcoming football season.
The day included observing the NFL Academy team’s gym sessions in Loughborough's multi-million-pound Powerbase, one of the world's largest elite strength and conditioning environments, with some journalists and influencers joining the workouts for themselves.
The NFL Academy is a major global initiative by the NFL, established in 2019, that uses American football to create life-changing opportunities for young people around the world. The elite football development program, for student athletes aged 16 – 19, combines full-time education with transformative life skills and character development, alongside intensive training in American football.
It promotes elite football performance and player pathway opportunities, with students working to secure football scholarships to U.S. colleges throughout the academic year. Since its inception more than 40 students have secured college football scholarships in the US. 20 NFL Academy UK alumni will play NCAA football in the 2023–24 season.
The world-class coaching team includes Head of NFL Academy, Lamonte Winston (Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders), Coach Steve Hagen (New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns) and Kris Durham, Head of Football NFL Academy (Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions).
We collaborated with Loughborough University on Powerbase to design and manufacture bespoke racks to be accessible to all. In what will become an important development for the sector, our team consulted with a focus group of practitioners working with the para population to create an accessible training space with bespoke solution for accessibility. As a collective with Loughborough University, we hope we can bring these solutions into the wider population and revolutionise accessible equipment for all.
Read more about the project here: Loughborough University Powerbase