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NFL launches UK academy venture

NFL UK has launched what it claims will be a first-of-its kind initiative that aims to use American football to create life-changing educational and professional opportunities for young people.

The NFL Academy, which begins operations in September, will offer student athletes aged 16-18 the opportunity to combine education with life skills and intensive training in the sport under full-time professional coaches.

Wooden Spoon sets world record with Everest rugby game

A group of adventurers have set a new world record for the highest game of rugby in history in an event organised by children’s charity Wooden Spoon.

On 30th April, a group comprising former international rugby players, leading business executives and others from the rugby community broke the record on the East Rongbuk Glacier near Mount Everest’s Advanced Base Camp. The game was played at 6,331m above sea level.

The game formed part of the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge, which has already raised over £250,000 in donations.

FA Bringing Opportunities to Communities

The FA has launched the second phase of its Bringing Opportunities to Communities strategy, which has been designed to help increase the representation of Asian communities across English football.

To mark the launch of the announcement, a short film featuring four Asian role models in football has been released.

The individuals featured in the film are referee Lisa Rashid, England women’s deaf futsal player Lucindha Lawson, Charlton Athletic women’s manager Riteesh Mishra and Swansea City FC player Yan Dhanda. 

Recyclable running shoe unveiled by adidas

Sportswear giant adidas has unveiled FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, a new running shoe that is 100% recyclable.

The company said that 200 individuals will test out the shoe – which is made from a single material, TPU – and provide feedback as part of adidas’ broadest ever global beta trial.

It is then hoped that the shoe will be released to the public in the first half of 2021, with adidas targeting a full commercial launch in the spring or the summer.

QPR to give stadium naming rights to charity

EFL club Queens Park Rangers has revealed plans to donate the naming rights for its Loftus Road stadium to a local charity from the start of next season.

QPR fans will be able to nominate local charities through a survey that will be available on the club’s website until 3rd May. The club will then compile a shortlist of nominations, with fans given the opportunity to vote for their preferred choice.

The club has said that fans should take into consideration a number of factors when deciding on their nomination.

Rangers sets UK first with visually impaired fans tech

Scottish Premiership club Rangers FC is pioneering a new artificial intelligence-based device designed to transform the stadium experience for blind and visually impaired fans.

The OrCam MyEye 2 device, which is wireless and attaches magnetically to any pair of glasses, uses artificial intelligence to analyse visual information and instantly communicate it to the user via audio.

The device, which will be available at the club’s Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, can read text, as well as recognise faces, products, colours and currency notes.

Roses inspire 130,000 to play netball

The Vitality Roses’ gold medal win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has inspired more than 130,700 people in England to take up or play more netball, according to new figures.

The data from a YouGov survey commissioned on behalf of England Netball, has been released to mark the one-year anniversary of the victory, which was watched by 1.8 million on the BBC.

Meanwhile England Netball’s annual Big Netball Conversation survey found that 80% of those involved in Back to Netball since the Games were new to the national governing body’s flagship participation programme.

Natwest CricketForce returns with digital focus

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) 2019 NatWest CricketForce volunteering initiative has launched with a focus on enhancing digital and technological capabilities at clubs.

Tens of thousands of volunteers were joined by England stars Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and Danielle Wyatt in participating in the launch weekend, which featured activities ranging from testing out digital points of sale at cricket venues to improving internet connections at local clubs.

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