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University College Birmingham and Blues give school leavers new pathway into sports career

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Birmingham City Football Club’s (@BCFC) Community Trust and University College Birmingham (@UCBofficial) have teamed up to offer a new pathway for 16 to 19-year-olds to help them land their dream career in sport, from football coaching and personal training to analysis and psychology, starting this September.

The official partnership offers a unique insight into professional life in sport, with lesson time being split between University College Birmingham’s new Moss House campus, St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy stadium and Wast Hills Trillion Trophy training ground, combining studies with elite standard facilities.

As well as providing the equivalent of three A-Levels, Sport and Physical Activity at the university will also give school leavers the chance to gain their FA coaching badges up to Level 2, their Gym Instructor Level 2 qualification and their Personal Trainer Level 3 certificate, readying students for a career or higher education.

Academic success will remain the primary objective for all learners engaging in the programme, using industry-based opportunities to discover potential careers. The programme will also allow students to develop and continue their football journey with time dedicated to training, matches and education of the game.

The course is open to every level of ability, with all students getting the chance to play for Birmingham City Community Trust at varying levels. The football programme will be operated by current academy staff from Blues and guarantees visits from talent scouts to its elite teams, as well as weekly access to Wast Hills – making it the only regional course to offer training ground experience.

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Birmingham City Football Club chose to work with University College Birmingham due to its reputation for delivering sport industry-based courses at degree level and wanted to give 16 to 19-year-olds a chance to work and study in a higher education setting in addition to the club’s facilities.

Matt Dorgan, 16-19 education and football manager at Birmingham City Community Trust, said: “The partnership with University College Birmingham is the first of its kind anywhere in the West Midlands. Whilst other clubs and colleges offer joint courses, nowhere can boast university facilities and professional standard training grounds for school leavers like this course can.

“The idea behind the partnership is to offer an academic and footballing pathway to meet all of our learners’ needs. It is a holistic approach for anyone wanting a career in the sport industry.”

Elaine Limond, deputy dean of strategy, recruitment and innovation at University College Birmingham, said: “We are excited to partner with Birmingham City Community Trust and are looking forward to building a really innovative and rewarding relationship for all involved”.

For more information on what the course entails and how you can enrol, please visit the University College Birmingham website.

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