From education to employment

Torquay United and South Devon College “kick off” new partnership

Torquay United Football Club(@TUFC1899) and South Devon College(@sdcollege) have announced a new partnership to create fresh opportunities for both football development and education in the region.

This collaboration sees South Devon College become the official ‘Youth and Education’ partner of Torquay United, a National League South club underlining a shared commitment to nurturing young talent and educational provision alongside high-level training.

Kelly Sooben, Vice Principal of South Devon College, is enthusiastic about the initiative, she said:

“This partnership offers exclusive opportunities for our students to join Torquay United teams and engage directly with professional footballers, as well as sports management, and it demonstrates our commitment to community engagement and outstanding education.

“We’re excited to see the impact it makes to our students, and the wider community.”

The agreement includes the use of South Devon College’s sports centre as the new training site for Torquay United’s first team. The centre boasts a 3G pitch and will give teams exclusive access to sports science, nutrition, gym and analysis facilities; a valuable resource for developing future football talent.

Joe Lovell, CEO of Torquay United, highlighted the strategic importance of the agreement in strengthening the club’s foundations, he said:

“Youth development is high on our priority list, and we are fully committed to developing young talent across the region.

“This agreement with the College and consolidation of our Youth pathway is an important foundational stone in the rebuild of the football club.”

“We are delighted and excited to be working the South Devon College team on this new long-term partnership.  It gives Paul and the first team an unrivalled training ground and state-of-art facilities and we believe the youth programme will provide an outstanding pathway for young talent who aspire to play football at the highest level. It also helps us to contribute to the college mission of inspiring our community.”

Beyond enhancing the club’s training facilities, the agreement provides practical learning experiences for South Devon College students. They will gain firsthand experience in various roles within the football club’s operations, including food service, catering, marketing, retail, and matchday operations. This exposure not only supplements their academic learning but also prepares them with skills for a range of career paths.

Paul Wotton, First Team Manager at Torquay United, commended the partnership for improving the club’s facilities and its focus on youth development.

Wotton said.

“This is a fantastic deal for the football club and allows my players and our backroom staff access to one of the best sports and training facilities in the region.  The commitment to youth development and the partnership with the College is testament to the long-term ambition and aspirations of this Club by its new ownership, which is one the key reasons I was so excited to join Torquay United.,”

This partnership promises to create an unrivalled pathway for Torbay’s youth to get into professional sports while enriching the learning experiences of college students, it’s a new era for both education and sports development in South Devon.

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