Ahead of the Super Bowl this weekend, The Jaguars continue to show their commitment to the UK game, sharing the findings of their recent survey into the popularity of American Football in the UK. Working with LGT Vestra US, the survey’s goal is to support the launch of the 2019 Gridiron Grant – the only American Football University Scholarship open to one girl and one boy that are involved in the sport in the UK.
Jaguars UK shared:
With Super Bowl LIII taking place this weekend (Sunday, 3rd February), British fans of American football will be gearing up for a late night as the popularity of the sport on UK shores continues to grow.
Brand new research undertaken alongside the LGT Vestra US Gridiron Grant has revealed that 1 in 5 (18%) of individuals have played American football in some form, or would love to start, with this increasing to over 1 in 3 (35%) amongst 16-24 year olds. The research also found over half of 16-24 year olds asked said they’d feel more likely to participate if the UK had an NFL franchise of its own.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL team dedicated to the UK having committed to play at least one game every year in the UK until 2020. A record-breaking 85,870 turned out to watch the Jaguars take on the Eagles in 2018. However, the team’s commitment to the UK goes far beyond the professional playing field.
The LGT Vestra US Gridiron Grant has been developed by the Jaguars and founding partner LGT Vestra US in response to the growing number of children participating in American football in the UK.
Offering two full university scholarships for individuals who participate in American football within their community in the UK, the LGT Vestra US Gridiron Grant is the only offering of its kind in the country. With the average British student leaving university with debts of more than £50,000, the Grant aims to provide more individuals with the opportunity to consider further education as an option, as well as to promote American football as a recognised sport within the UK.
Paul Nixon, CEO of LGT Vestra US said:
“We’re really excited to be working with the Jacksonville Jaguars again to launch the Gridiron Grant in the UK for its second consecutive year. We both recognise the value of grassroots support in sport, education and business and the life benefits children can take from sport whether that is the commitment, the training or the teamwork. We want to use the programme to get more children involved in sport and to push themselves onto further education.”
- American football continues to grow in popularity across the UK, with the Super Bowl LIII expected to draw over half a million viewers
- The ‘Gridiron Grant’, a scheme between LGT Vestra US and the Jacksonville Jaguars, offers one male and one female British student a full university scholarship
When questioned about the barriers to playing American football in the UK, the survey also highlighted that (28%) of Brits lack confidence in their own ability to play the game while (24%) were unsure where they can go to get involved.
The Jaguars are committed to breaking down these barriers. Their grassroots initiative, ‘JagTag’– a simplified non-contact version of the game which is delivered with the help of LGT Vestra US – is suitable for children of all abilities between the ages of 6-18 is already played by over 13,000 kids across the UK.
Hussain Naqi, VP of International Development for the Jacksonville Jaguars said:
“The Jaguars aim is to make American football accessible to fans of all ages across the UK by providing year-round initiatives. Both our JagTag and LGT Vestra US Gridiron Grant programmes are designed to not only create opportunities for kids to play the sport but also to use the sport to inspire them. It’s so exciting to be a part of such a rapidly growing sport within the UK and is great to see the work we’re doing having such a positive impact.”
Applications for the 2019 Gridiron Grant programme are open until midnight on Friday 26th April and more information can be found at www.jaguars.co.uk/gridiron-grant/