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NFL Foundation UK is coming to Birmingham and Manchester

The NFL Foundation UK and Sport England have today announced a partnership that will see its reach expand beyond London and into communities across Greater Manchester and Birmingham

The NFL Foundation UK and Sport England will provide joint grant funding to deliver NFL Flag programs in co-created partnerships with local community charities in Greater Manchester and Birmingham. Each bespoke partnership will seek positive outputs and outcomes for young people around education, employment, building inclusive communities and improving physical and mental wellbeing.

As part of the Sport England partnership, the NFL Foundation UK will be working with Greater Manchester and Birmingham community groups for at least the next two years, supporting them to provide NFL Flag Football programmes, training, and equipment to help young people aged 12-20 access positive pathways and develop the skills, confidence, and self-belief to create their own future, impact society and reach their potential.

Using the power of sport to reach communities, NFL Flag has been proven to be a strong engagement tool with diverse and underserved groups, in particular young people.

The program currently works with eight community groups across 13 London boroughs, delivering youth football to engage over 2500 young people in the capital, 58% of which are female and 75% who are from a diverse ethnic background, helping underrepresented young people have equal access to opportunities. 

NFL Flag is one of the fastest growing sports globally, empowering youth athletes around the world and instilling a lifelong passion for flag football. The non-contact format is fun, exciting, fast and accessible for all, with women and girls driving some of the fastest growth. Flag football is currently played by more than 20 million people in more than 100 countries, by all ages and genders.

It provides a structured opportunity for young people (boys and girls) to play the game whilst discovering the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork and friendship both on and off the field.

The NFL Foundation UK launched in 2021 as part of the NFL's international charitable endeavours and in partnership with the Mayor of London's 'Sport Unites' fund that saw the duo commit a combined £1 million to the deliver NFL Foundation UK's work in the capital.

Henry Hodgson, General Manager NFL UK, said: "We are delighted to partner with Sport England and expand the NFL Foundation UK's reach into communities in Greater Manchester and Birmingham as part of our commitment to helping to address inequality in society through the power of sport, education and opportunity. 

"It has always been our ambition to expand the NFL Foundation UK beyond London and engage more young people, and we are looking forward to working with local community organizations to co-create programs that will support local needs. We know how powerful NFL Flag is in connecting with underrepresented groups to help young people get active, and we are excited about the potential to further impact the lives of youngsters in the UK."

Phil Smith, Executive Director of Partnerships at Sport England, said: "Today's announcement is an exciting one which is centred around a shared ambition to help more under-represented young people, in more cities, engage with the growing sport of NFL Flag."

"In working with local community groups in Birmingham and Manchester themselves, and by providing a blend of opportunity, equipment and training, we believe this unique partnership can be transformational in helping more young people find a love for sport, while building social connections."

The NFL Foundation UK has today opened a new application process for charities across in Greater Manchester and Birmingham as the programme expands. To register your interest and apply for funding please visit here.

For more information, head to the NFL Foundation UK website