The NFL is kicking off a major initiative to grow the game in the United Kingdom, and Patrick Mahomes is at the forefront of the movement.
The Chiefs quarterback was named an ambassador for the NFL Academy in London, along with other elite players like Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh’s JuJu Smith-Schuster, Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and London-raised Efe Odaba of the Carolina Panthers.
Mahomes and the other ambassadors will make regular visits to the academy and help mentor the student-athletes living and studying there.
“I am very proud to be one of the first ambassadors for the NFL Academy in the UK.” Mahomes said in an NFL news release. “My foundation — 15 and the Mahomies — we work to give young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, greater opportunities in life. The NFL Academy’s objective in combining football and education to do just that is something I am very excited about playing a role in. I can’t wait to see it get started,. and I look forward to getting over to London to contribute in its success.”
The program, which will educate about 80 students ages 16-18 in its first class, aims to give students a path to employment, further education and the potential opportunity to play NCAA football.
“The Academy is a first-of-its kind initiative that will deliver three key elements: education, character development and football,” NFL UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood said in the release. “The inspiration for the idea was our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur. As well as playing games at the new stadium, we had a desire to create something meaningful for the community on a year-round basis.”
Students will be educated through London’s Barnet and Southgate College with assistance from a coaching staff and NFL UK to create a football program.
Nike will provide apparel and on-field uniforms for the student-athletes.