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Stevenage FC become latest club to sign up to USW Football Foundation Degree

Stevenage FC Foundation have teamed up with the University of South Wales and EFL Trust to launch a brand-new foundation degree for aspiring coaches to study a higher education course whilst gaining practical experience out in the local community.

The Foundation’s two-year Foundation Degree programme is a course designed for individuals wanting to attain a university qualification and are passionate about pursuing a career in the football industry.

Students develop the necessary skills, qualities and characteristics that are required to work within professional football club community departments or national governing bodies.

Delivered in partnership with the University of South Wales, Stevenage FC Foundation become one of over 35 clubs across the country to deliver the course including Shrewsbury Town, Newport County and Sheffield Wednesday.

All lectures, seminars and tutorials are delivered in a supportive and inspirational club environment, based predominantly within your own football club via online material. This is supported with residential stays at the University of South Wales campus in Cardiff where students from all the clubs, come together twice a year.

Alongside the academic element of the course, students will complete up to 200 hours of voluntary coaching within the community, alongside the Foundation staff, allowing the students to embed and develop the coaching techniques learnt within lectures.

Through the Foundation’s partnership with the University of South Wales, all students will be enrolled as a student at the university. Students will be able to access the university’s online library, blackboard and learning materials, providing them with the best possible learning platform to excel within.

Head of Foundation, Joe Goude said, “We are incredibly excited about the being able to bring the USW Foundation Degree to Stevenage. This is something we’ve been working on for nearly a year now and we cannot wait to get started.

“We already have a fantastic apprenticeship pathway in place for further education with Sporting Futures Training and this is the next tier of that pathway that will allow those apprentices to progress to a higher education programme whilst continuing to build on their practical experience out in our community.

“This programme has seen great success elsewhere in the country with some amazing examples of what students have gone on to achieve and the Foundation is looking to replicate that success locally, to create a viable pathway for people to gain new knowledge, but it into practice in the local community and ultimately make themselves more employable.”

Prerequisites to Apply:

  • BTEC Level 3 – MPP. A Level – DD
  • Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Three A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and maths

More details of the course can be found here.

EFL Footballers take on NCS Grads

Over the next 2 months, footballers from the EFL will be going toe-to-toe with NCS Graduates to take on the YES/NO game and find out more about NCS.

NCS (National Citizen Service) is a flagship government initiative that has provided 400,000 young people aged 16-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life.

The first footballer in the firing line is Rotherham United defender Ben Purrington who met Casey Holmes, a current member of EFL Trust’s Regional Youth board, and NCS Graduate from Rotherham.

Ben said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet Casey and learn more about NCS and her experience. The opportunities that NCS and Rotherham United offer are great for young people and I urge more to get involved.”

Talking about the YES/NO game, Ben continued: “It’s a lot harder than you think, but it was great fun and I did okay!”

The EFL Trust have been delivering the NCS programme since its pilot year in 2011 and now have a network of over 40,000 graduates. Using the power of football, EFL Trust are in a unique position to publicise the work that NCS are doing during the programme and after. Last year, the social media campaign #NCSMatchDay reached over three million people.

On 15th March, NCS Graduate and now professional footballer Louis Jones at Doncaster Rovers will take on fellow NCS Graduate Holly Dennis. To keep up to date, follow #SayYestoNCS.

To get £15* off NCS this Summer, click here.

EXTRA TIME: ‘It takes years off you! I always claim I’m 29. I’m 87 and I love it.’

Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s ‘Extra Time’ programme is offering people over the age of 50 in Shrewsbury a new lease of life, and you have to look no further than participant Alan Bowers to see the impact the sessions are having on those in the community.

Alan, 69, is a season ticket holder at Shrewsbury Town, but also an active member of the Extra Time programme.

Alan has been a regular participant at the club since it started five years ago, and up until recently was also a part of the Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s walking football team.

Extra Time, is aimed at getting those over the age of 50 involved in sporting activities and socialising, with sessions run every Thursday.

It’s not just limited to football, either. Alan and co find themselves doing a range of different activities each week, and whether it’s hockey, rounders, basketball, walking football or ten pin bowling, there’s something for everyone to get stuck into.

Speaking of the programme, Alan said: ”It’s such a good group of people, and they all get on with one another.

”It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, they just get out there, get some air in their lungs and just do something a bit different.”

When asked how much he has gained since joining Extra Time, he added: ”So much. Making friends, keeping healthy, keeping fit. When you retire, you get to a point of, ‘what do I do next?’

”You can’t go to a pub every day, can you?…Well maybe you can!

”But you don’t want to do that, you want to do something different. We want to do visits, we go to the pantomime every year at Theatre Severn and we have  a trip every year.”

Joining Alan at Shrewsbury Powerleague every Thursday is Irene, 87, who has been part of Extra Time for four years.

Like Alan, Irene can’t speak highly enough of the sessions, and the group that she has become so close and friendly with.

”It’s the best club I’ve ever been to, it really is.” Irene said. ”It’s a laugh from the time you go in, to the time you go out, and everybody joins in.

”It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at it. I am no good at hitting the ball in rounders, the ball goes the wrong way!

”Everybody cares for one another, it’s great! If anybody is off colour or ill, we’ve got out phone numbers.”

For a healthy and youthful lifestyle, Irene insists Extra Time is the programme for you.

”It takes years off you! I always claim I’m 29! I’m 87 and I love it.

”The laughs you have, and the friends you make…A laugh a day makes all the difference.”

To find our more about Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s Extra Time sessions visit: https://www.shrewsburytowninthecommunity.com/activities/extra-time/

Kinder + Sport Move & Learn project shortlisted for FDF Award

The Kinder + Sport Move & Learn project, developed by EFL Trust and Ferrero, has been shortlisted for the ‘Education Initiative Award’ at the Food and Drink Federation Awards 2017.

The activity programme is designed to get children moving by encouraging dynamic play and sports amongst young people and their families, promote nutritional education and build awareness of the importance of a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

As childhood obesity levels continue to rise across Britain, Ferrero recognised a responsibility to take positive action to promote nutritional education and build awareness of the importance of a balanced diet and active lifestyle amongst children.

After forming a partnership with EFL Trust in 2014, the project has expanded to reach over 54,000 children in the UK and continues to grow.

Accrington Stanley are 1 of 24 EFL clubs who run the project through their Community Trust reaching out to schools across the country.

To read more about the FDF Awards 2017 click here.

TRAINEESHIPS: Young people kick start life with Blackpool FC

Young people who have struggled to find employment have been offered a life changing opportunity to turn their lives around, thanks to their local football club.

Blackpool FC Community Trust are one of many EFL club trusts offering youngsters the chance to gain invaluable work experience on the traineeship programme.

The course, aimed at people aged 16-23, has been made to offer those who are currently not in education, employment or training a stepping stone back into further education.

Trainees on the programme get to spend three days a week based at their local professional football club, whilst shadowing experienced members of club staff and community football coaches.

In just 12-16 weeks, students get free training in employment skills including; CV writing and experience, employment opportunities, interview skills, coaching skills resulting in a FA Level 1 qualification, high quality work experience in business administration, hospitality, grounds maintenance, match day, retail and experience of working in the sport and leisure industry.

Connor Snape, aged 18, is currently on work placement with Blackpool FC and has been helping the Seasiders staff to prepare for pre-season and life in League One.

Connor said, “As a massive Blackpool FC fan, I’m delighted to be receiving my work placement at the club. I’m helping out in the kit-room and making sure everything is ready for when the players return for pre-season training.

“This is my second placement as I was at TEE Time Golf Centre last month working with the grounds staff. Both placements have given me key employment skills which will hopefully get me some full-time work.”

Blackpool FC Community Trust also offer a ‘Kickstart’ programme allowing those who successfully complete the traineeships programme the chance to continue their further learning and employment opportunities.

James Hanson, 17, has just finished the Kickstart course and is now working at Ascent Trampoline Park as a court marshal assisting customers.

James thanked Blackpool FC Community Trust for turning his life around. James said, “At 16 I went into the army and I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t know what to do with my life but I enrolled on to Blackpool FC Community Trust’s Traineeship course and learnt important life skills.

“I progressed on to the Kickstart course. It really gave me the boost I needed in life and the Trust set up interviews with different organisations. I’m now working at Ascent Trampoline Park and I’m really enjoying it. Both courses (Traineeship and Kickstart) have changed my life. Thanks to Colin and Rick for their support.”

Geoff Scott, 23, also used the Kickstart programme to gain full time employment. Following the completion of the course, the Trust set up a number of interviews for all Kickstart students. Geoff impressed local shop Co-op during an interview and was hired by them at the end of May.

Geoff is delighted with how the Kickstart got his life back on track after struggling to find full time work. Geoff said, “I’m so pleased to be working full time at Co-op and it wouldn’t have been possible without Blackpool FC Community Trust.

“They taught me key skills which I’ve taken with me into this new job and I’m really enjoying working at Co-op as I’m a big believer in quality of customer service.”

To find out more information about traineeships visit: http://www.efltrust.com/projects/traineeships/