MORE than 100 teenagers attended a showcase event at St George’s Park for Burton Albion Community Trust’s Football & Education programme.
Burton Albion defender John Brayford, one of the programme’s early graduates was on hand to answer questions and support the event, and he was joined by Brewers midfielder Luke Murphy and Academy manager Dan Robinson.
The programme is open to 16-18 year olds and is delivered by BACT in conjunction with Burton and South Derbyshire College. It mixes football with education to provide pathways not only to a potential career in the game but also to apprenticeships, university courses and jobs in coaching, teaching and so on.
Aaron Savva, BACT Education Manager, said: “We had an open training session for those wishing to join the programme and they also watched the current lads in action on the indoor 3G pitch at St George’s Park. We had an influx of new lads who want to sign up to the programme as a result.
“The idea is that when they finish their GCSEs they come onto the programme. They train two mornings a week and play every Wednesday and then spend the rest of the time at college. Depending on their GCSE results they will go on to study for either a Level 2 NCFE or a BTEC Level 3 in sport with modules such as anatomy and physiology, sports coaching and psychology.
“It can lead to jobs in the sports industry and quite a few of the lads have gone on to sports scholarships in America. Others go on to university and that opens up a lot of options.”
The event was supported by the Professional Footballers’ Association Union Learning Fund with Alan Irwin attending on the day.
Aaron added: “I would like to thank Kris and Alan Irwin from the PFA and Luke, Dan and John from Burton Albion for their support. It was a brilliant day and extremely rewarding to see so many young people enjoying themselves and taking advantage of the opportunities that are on offer through this programme.
“The Football & Education programme is an important part of BACT’s strategy moving forward as it allows young people the opportunity to not only become better footballers but also to raise aspirations to go onto gain the education required to progress in their career. We are interested in the holistic development of every individual and allow them to gain work experience with the community trust and to become more employable with the opportunity to complete National Governing body qualifications which include the FA Level 1 coaching badge.
“John Brayford is a great role model as he was one of the first to come through the course and was taken on by Burton Albion and has enjoyed a very successful football career.”
John said: “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Football & Education programme and I would encourage all those on the course to work hard and make the most of the opportunity.”
For more details about the programme, contact Aaron Savva firstname.lastname@example.org