Women score with new college football performance programme

A new Gateshead College programme kicks-off this month (10th April) to enable female footballers to gain a recognised qualification while boosting their ball skills.

The college taster day is being held at Darlington Arena on April 10 between 11am and 1pm, where budding young female footballers from the south of the region will get the chance to find out more about how they can benefit from top quality coaching at the country’s foremost women’s football performance centres.

The programme offers the chance to stay in post 16 education, studying for a BTEC Level 3 in Sport while gaining from the type of quality coaching that has played a key part in steering the college’s women’s football team to the top – they are the current FE college champions.

Those who join up will be able to take advantage of expertise while training and studying at either Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport or the Arena, where they will benefit from some of the best equipped playing, training and classroom facilities in the region.

They will also be able to continue playing for their own clubs at weekends as they complete their studies and put into practice the skills they have learned on the course.

The BTEC Level 3 in Sport offers the opportunity for progression to either higher education or into employment within the sports industry, health and fitness sector, sports development or sports coaching fields. Studies include practical sessions, workshops, seminars, team work, independent study, guest speakers and trips and visits.

Last season was the best so far for women’s football at the college with the first team winning top honours: four national titles including the English Colleges FA Elite League, the ECFA U19 Knockout Cup, the English Schools U18 Colleges’ Cup and the National Playoff Final at the Britannia Stadium. The second team also scored after winning the North East Colleges’ League.

Mel Reay, women’s football coach at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport, who is overseeing the new programme, said: “The new programme is a great opportunity for youngsters to stay in post-16 education to gain new skills and a nationally recognised qualification.

“They’ll also benefit from our superb coaching team and mentoring expertise at the same time, gaining the important tools to develop in their chosen sport.

“We want to ensure that we help students to fulfil their potential and perhaps go on to forge a worthwhile career in the sports industry or as a professional player.”

Danny Brown, Darlington Arena manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome Gateshead College to the Arena. It’s another great addition to our community.

“The ambition and vision for the facility which has been enveloped by Gateshead College management will produce a fantastic educational and practical venue for any youngster wishing to develop themselves.”

The Gateshead College’s Women’s Football Performance Centre taster day takes place on 10 April. For further information and to book a place contact melanie.reay@gateshead.ac.uk or call 07736 638914.