Future sporting stars are finding routes into a variety of industry jobs from coaching to physiotherapy thanks to the team at Middlesbrough College.
Students aged 16-19 can satisfy their passion for sport alongside studies through one of the College’s sports academies.
Those interested in basketball, cricket, football, golf, gymnastics, table tennis and volleyball can enrol in the specialist academies led by former professionals and national-level coaches with years of experience and sought after contacts.
Former Boro players Andy Collett and Phil Stamp lead Middlesbrough College’s Football Academy – and elite training programme for young people who want to play high level football while building life-changing skills.
Andy, an expert in developing footballing talent since he retired from the professional game, explained: “To make it pro is extremely difficult but there are some fantastic jobs in sport that we can help students gain the right qualifications for – jobs such as physiotherapists, sports analysts, nutritionists, teachers and coaches.
“We also have excellent links to elite sports camps and institutions in the US, and we’ll help students take advantage of those fantastic opportunities.”
All sports academy students benefit from the top-class facilities at Middlesbrough College including 3G astroturf pitches, specialist multiuse games areas, a six-court sports hall, a strength and conditioning suite and physiology lab.
Alongside normal college studies, students are supported by experienced coaches who nurture talent for a variety of career areas including teaching, sports analysis, nutrition and therapy.
Many students have achieved high level success.
Talented footballer Emily Scarr – a midfielder for Middlesbrough Women FC – was last year chosen to play for England on a five-day tour of Finland.
Alongside her dream to play professional football, Emily also has ambitions to become a PE teacher and Middlesbrough College tutors are helping her gain the skills and knowledge she needs to break into the industry.
Her tutor, Francesca Bousfield, said: “Getting the international call-up is a fantastic achievement for Emily who is a talented player and dedicated student.
“This type of experience could be a stepping stone to bigger things in the world of football.
“Emily is also a fantastic representative of Middlesbrough College – and it’s inspiring for other students to see her success at a high level.”
As well as top tutoring and facilities, sports academy students also have access to free massage therapy, a sports injury clinic, performance analysis expertise and free strength and conditioning training and programming.
Hannah Raine from Guisborough was keen to study Sports Therapy at university and enrolled with Middlesbrough College’s Netball Sports Academy as the first step on her journey.
She said: “I've loved my time at Middlesbrough College, covering both practical and theory has been great as I feel fully prepared for the next step.
“I'm also part of the Netball Sports Academy which has given me so many amazing opportunities.
“I'm heading to South Africa in the summer to represent in the England Under 21 Netball Squad!”