There is a new full-time education course for teenagers and young adults dreaming of pursuing careers in sport at Oxford City.
The National League South club’s new Velocity programme was unveiled this week to offer male and female students aged between 16 to 18 and 19 to 23 a unique opportunity to combine football and education on BTEC and degree courses.
Based at Oxford City’s stadium and the Community Arena in Marston, Velocity was created to deliver a unique full-time programme in Oxfordshire after the Hoops teamed up with Ignite Sport UK who’ve been delivering education initiatives for almost 20 years.
The programmes – offering work experience, playing opportunities and units including applied coaching skills, sports development and sports psychology – are designed to provide an unrivalled pathway for progression to higher education, a career in sport and playing opportunities.
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— Oxford City FC (@OxCityFC) August 11, 2020
Enrollment is now underway for the first intake of students in September. The men’s progamme will be led up by Oxford City academy head and UEFA A coach Mickey Lewis and the women’s by Oxford City Women’s captain Lauren Hayes.
Both will be assisted by an experienced team of UEFA B coaches, in-house personal trainers, sports therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, and academic tutors. Education partners Virtual Learning UK will also provide additional support on top of face-to-face teaching.
Velocity and Oxford City director Justin Merritt said: “This is a major step forward in our strategy to deliver first class education courses in Oxfordshire that combine sport with academia.
“It is the culmination of years of delivering education programmes and Velocity is the ideal course for teenagers who wish to pursue a career in sport. Not only will they learn in a supportive environment, they will be given practical real-life work experience opportunities within the football club.”
He added: “Our teaching philosophy is nurturing and supportive and the course and wider environment is designed to encourage students to be the best possible version of themselves.”
NEWS | We are delighted to be beginning a new partnership with @oxford_brookes!
— Oxford City FC (@OxCityFC) August 12, 2020
Former West Bromwich Albion, Derby County and Oxford United midfielder Lewis said: “Velocity is a fantastic new provision of football and education programmes that are specifically tailored for students who want to follow a career in sport.
“There are so many ways to develop a fulfilling career in sport and the Velocity courses will provide an excellent grounding in a professional sports environment.”
Hayes said: “This is an exciting development for female football and education in Oxfordshire, with the opportunity to learn on a full-time course at a football club.
“It is the sort of opportunity I would have loved to have had when I was starting out in my career. Female football is growing in the UK and this course will enable more females to embark on a career in sport.”
Velocity was launched after club officials continued their foray into education at the start of August by joining forces with Oxford Brookes University to formalise a long-standing working relationship in order to boost opportunities for students and players. Merritt has also been appointed head of football at Oxford Brookes.
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