If you'd love a career in sport, you're in luck - a new qualification will roll out across Mansfield in September.
You Can Do Sport will roll out its two-year BTEC programme in partnership with Queen Elizabeth Academy.
The programme offers male and females age 16-18 the opportunity to study a BTEC L3 Extended Diploma in Sport (equivalent to 3 A-Levels) alongside professional coaching in Football.
The BTEC will give students an insight into the diversity of the careers available in sport.
Graduates from the programme will have plenty of potential further education and career paths, such as university, employment and possibly professional and semi-professional sports contracts for those that show real promise in their game.
The qualification will combine academic studies, theoretical training, and practical sports coaching.
Students will be based at Queen Elizabeth Academy, where they will spend half of their of their week doing academic study and half practical training under the guidance of former professional footballers, Ian McParland (current scout for Aston Villa FC), Gary Charles (twice capped for England) and Andy Reid (current Head Coach for Ireland U18s).
Paul Hart, assistant coach for Stoke City FC will act as a consultant coach.
Training sessions will focus on fitness testing, sports leadership, coaching, technique, tactical awareness, strength, conditioning, individual profiling and players’ overall awareness and understanding of the game.
Students will be entered into the AOC league giving them the opportunity to play competitive matches with regional grass roots clubs, colleges, academies and sixth form teams.
Students will also get the opportunity to take part in special away- days, additional FA Qualifications including referring and coaching, volunteering opportunities and high-profile guest speakers and guest coaches.
There are no fees to join the Academy and You Can Do Sport provide all of its students with a free match and training kit which the students will have the opportunity to help design.
Gary Charles said: “The scope for students to choose a sports-based education, with access to coaches who are usually only available to elite athletes, is too good to miss.
"I think if students are unsure of what they want to do, and they like sport, they should come and hear about the football programme, no matter what their current level of expertise.
"It’s not necessarily for potential pro-players, you might want to be a referee or a coach or a PE teacher and it all works as great experience towards it.”
"Charlie and Andy and I are very pleased to be involved. You never lose the love of football and I think that’s why we do it, the three of us, because it’s like giving
back to the young kids.
"Seeing them improve from session to session is great to see.”
“I have witnessed this sort of programme succeeding, one particular young man springs to mind. He didn’t play particularly well, but I admired him because he took a shot at a two-year course when he couldn’t really play football.
"But at the end of the two years, his football had improved massively, and he had his coaching badges and now he’s working in America.”
Natalia Postlethwaite, co-director of ‘You Can Do Sport’ said: “Our mission is to make further education in sport accessible to all children, regardless of background or starting point, so as to enrich their lives, contribute to their success and allow them to realise their potential.
Kate Lilley, co-director of You Can Do Sport said: “We believe opportunity must be more flexible and accessible and actively reach out to those who do not get involved in sport, whether because of practical, social or emotional barriers.
"We believe that by delivering an engaging sports programme we can encourage students to push themselves to their full potential and attain education goals
whilst improving attendance rates."
Helena Brothwell, Principal at Queen Elizabeth Academy said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with You Can Do Sport to offer a course which is one of its kind in the Mansfield area - for students who are keen on sport as a career it would be very difficult to find a course which offers more bespoke coaching, and better knowledge and understanding of the industry and the game of football.
"The programme provides an opportunity for students who cannot afford to travel out of Mansfield every-day, or who wish to continue their aspirations in the area regardless.
"The programme is a perfect alternative to sixth form or college and students who join the academy will be best placed to take up future careers in roles such as sport therapy, management, science and of course coaching and playing sport, the options are diverse and vast.
"With a team of professionals behind them who are experts and are renowned in their field the students will have the best possible guidance and mentor ship there is.
"We really are very lucky that this is going to be available to students in Mansfield and I’m looking forward to seeing it grow.”
YCDS are hosting a Trial for anyone that is interested in applying to the Academy on Monday April 29 from 5.00pm-6.30pm at Queen Elizabeth Academy.
For anyone wishing to attend, please contact Natalia on 07980 761 311 or email Natalia@youcandosport.co.uk