Learning Curve Group, open Football Academy to encourage young adults with a passion for football, to engage in education and training over the summer

Posted on Aug 05, 2019

The football academy is initially offering a six week summer programme that gives young people the chance to gain accredited qualifications and work experience in sport and coaching. The programme aims to give learners the foundations to explore topics such as health and nutrition, personal exercise, strength and conditioning, as well as studying mental health awareness, first aid and the ‘Red Card to Racism’ initiative. They also get the opportunity to gain work experience by coaching youth teams, putting the skills they’ve learnt to good use in a real life situation.

Learners at the academy spend 16 hours a week on the pitch receiving coaching from ex-professional Middlesbrough player, Jamie Pollock. Pollock is employed by LCG to deliver the coaching element of the programme, giving the young people with a passion for football the opportunity to learn from a professional player.

Deputy Director of Employability at Learning Curve Group, Kaye Lake, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve opened our first Football Academy in Middlesbrough. We do a lot of work around increasing opportunities for young adults in local communities as we’re passionate about giving young people the opportunity to gain skills and ultimately transform lives”.

The majority of the first cohort to join the Football Academy initially played under the Polton Allstars Football Academy. Pollock has been supporting the teenagers with football coaching for years and wanted to encourage their progression into sport, training and education. Some of the young adults show potential to move into semi or professional football. We also have two girls on the programme which is encouraging to promote women in the sport and other learners have been brought on programme by word of mouth from the local community.

Pollock said: “I’m excited to be working for Learning Curve Group to support young people who are passionate about football to create better opportunities for themselves. By using a sport they love, we can encourage them to gain qualifications that will make them more employable and support them into work. Their fitness levels have increased dramatically with the intense training schedule, they are more agile on the pitch and the teamwork and comradery shown has been fantastic.”

The six week programme has dedicated funding for the Tees Valley area provided by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for anyone aged between 15 and 24 and not in or at risk of not being in education, employment or training. Learners are supported with a bursary to cover travel and lunch costs, and will be supported by LCG in progressing onto their next steps.

The academy is taking enrolments for the second cohort of learners who will start in August. To find out more, contact tees.valley@learningcurvegroup.co.uk or visit the FOOTBALL ACADEMY FACEBOOK PAGE.

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