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UK's first ever NFL Academy opens in London

By Tom Walker    02 Dec 2019
The opening of the centre was marked with a visit by NFL legend Jerry Rice / Fusion LIfestyle

The UK's first ever NFL Academy training site has opened its doors in north London.

The New River Sport & Fitness in Wood Green will serve as the official on-field training site for the NFL Academy and is managed by leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle

The academy has been set up to give aspiring young American football players and other "outstanding athletes" the chance to develop their skills and knowledge of the game while receiving full-time education at Barnet and Southgate College.

Students of the college have access to the extensive facilities, which include a full-size 3G multi-sport pitches, full size athletics track, tennis courts, indoor exercise studios and fully equipped gym.

The opening of the centre was marked with a visit by Jerry Rice, three-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers, who has been appointed ambassador to the Academy.

“We were very excited to have an NFL icon taking part in our practice and inspiring the students," said Tony Allen, head coach of the NFL Academy.

"It was great for him to see our facilities and see that New River Sport & Fitness is the perfect partner for us to be able to offer the high-quality training facilities we need.”

Anthony Cawley, Operations Director of Fusion Lifestyle added: “Our partnership with the NFL is really exciting.

"American football has been building its profile in the UK, with some of its regular matches played in London. The academy is a great way to engage with young people in both Tottenham and the surrounding area and welcoming someone as high profile as Jerry Rice is a great way to inspire both those already at the Academy and the wider community.”

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