CITY COLLEGE and Plymouth Argyle have announced a new partnership initiative that allows talented young footballers to combine top-level training with full-time study.
The Argyle Post-16 Scholarship Programme is a two-year scheme based at Home Park.
It offers intensive football coaching together with a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport.
A typical day sees the students doing their studies in the morning and training in the afternoons, with matches played on Wednesdays.
Having everything under one roof allows staff to dovetail the timetable, maximising players’ time on the pitch and in lectures.
The students also play in a national league against other college sides with links to professional clubs and against local teams.
With opportunities to work with players from the professional club, the students cover match analysis and tactical awareness, have nutrition sessions with the Argyle chef and tap into City College’s expert strength and conditioning and sports therapy provision.
Team members also get an insight into working in the world of sport through placements and work experience.
While some want to progress their playing careers, the Scholarship Programme sets the students up to branch out into other areas such as sports science, nutrition, coaching or even the armed forces.
On graduating, many will continue their studies on one of the College’s foundation degrees or take up an overseas scholarship in the US or Europe.
“This is an exciting partnership that provides an excellent opportunity for young sports enthusiasts to develop in both the football and academic arenas,” said City College principal and chief executive Phil Davies.
“Together, we have been able to develop a creative curriculum with a relevant enterprise focus. The initiative gives our students the chance to excel not only in their chosen sport, but it also equips them with the skills to be successful in whichever onward career path they choose to take.”
Plymouth Argyle chief executive Martyn Starnes said: “We are delighted to be working with City College Plymouth, opening exciting and genuine pathways to a career in the sports industry.
“Argyle Community Trust has developed fantastic experience in this area and it is a special opportunity for the students to enhance their knowledge and skills within the inspirational environment of a professional football club.”
The college will be holding an open day in the Argyle Lounge at Home Park on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 6pm.
Pictured top (front l-r): Phil Davies, City College Plymouth principal and chief executive, and Mark Lovell, Argyle Community Trust Head of Community. Back (l-r): Charlie Legg, City College Plymouth Academy Manager for Sport, with Argyle Scholarship Programme players and coaches.