College trailblazing American football

Exmouth Community College has put itself at the heart of plans to expand American Football in the UK, after the man behind its NFL team was invited to the Houses of Parliament.

Rob Rooksby, who started the college’s ‘Raptors’ with a �10,000 grant from Sport England, attended the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on American Football, which has been set up by MPs to explore promoting the game in this country.

The launch was held in the week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Chicago Bears at Wembley – the fifth regular season NFL game to be held there – and Mr Rooksby was joined in Westminster by current and former NFL stars.

Mr Rooksby was invited to attend as the college’s NFL programme is the first to be created solely by and within a UK school, catching the eye of NFL bosses.

He said: “If it works here, it can work in any school and, once some of the funding and facility issues are removed, we should see a rapid growth in this fast and exciting game at school level – and we are the first!”