From education to employment

As the Lionesses inspire the next generation, meet the school teaching tomorrows sports stars

globe with different flags on

Sports stars of tomorrow from around the globe are receiving a first-class education thanks to partnerships with a leading online school.

UK-based Minerva’s Virtual Academy (MVA) has entered major partnerships with organisations representing youngsters in the fields of tennis, football and motorsport. The multi award-winning online independent school is also in talks with a number of other sporting organisations, as it seeks to expand its offer.

Its sports education programme is headed up by Elite Athlete Education Officers Fabian Spiess, a former goalkeeper who has played for Notts County, Bristol Rovers and Torquay United, and professional basketball player Sol Rolls-Tyson, who has played across Europe after graduation from the University of North Dakota, where he balanced playing basketball with his education at the highest collegiate level.

Organisations now partnering with MVA include Tennis Europe, Vilas Tennis Academy, set up by holder of 62 ATP singles titles and four Grand Slam titles, Guillermo Vilas, the International Centre of European Football (ICEF) and motorsport management company RGMMC.

Fabian said: “It is a pleasure for us at MVA to be working with such prestigious organisations. 

“As a former professional footballer, I know just how difficult it is to make it in pro sport and how vital it is that young people have a good support network around them. All of the organisations we have signed up with give the young people in their care a great platform to make it in sport, but they also recognise that a rounded, quality education should never be sacrificed. 

“Through these partnerships, young people will have a quality educational environment in which they can thrive, be supported throughout and benefit from the holistic nature and extra curricular activities that we offer at the school.”

Leandro Cruz, ICEF’s Education Manager said: “When Minerva got in touch with us and showed us the holistic nature of their programme, we knew that our students would benefit. Students will have live lessons, a one-to-one mentor and benefit from the community aspects to the programme. Minerva has been a great communicator with us throughout this process and we’re delighted to be partnering with them.”

“We are very happy to be working with Minerva’s Virtual Academy,’ said James Geidel, President of The RGMMC Group.

“Attending school regularly has never been easy for some of our young drivers and the sport has long needed an injection of fresh ideas and energy in this space. Minerva, its school, and its tutors are already making a huge difference and we look forward to what the future brings.”

Christian Babuin, Director of Vilas Tennis academy said: “At the academy we believe that a good education should be a part of every young tennis player’s journey. Not only is it of extreme importance to support university or job applications beyond tennis, but an all rounded education builds better people and therefore better athletes. 

“As an academy we have a duty of care to the players we coach and therefore want to ensure that regardless of their tennis outcome, they have a solid foundation and career pathway which they can implement. Our partnership with Minerva will allow us to provide that much needed flexibility and access for students to continue studying whilst at the academy, at home or during competitions.”

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