A North East soccer star has landed a dream teaching role at the college that put her on the path to career success.
Courtney Lock from Sunderland has been appointed head coach of the women’s football academy at Gateshead College, five years after completing a Level 3 Sports Science course at the college’s Academy for Sport.
In her new role, the 24-year-old Sunderland fan will manage the delivery of the academy’s school leaver and sports development programmes and help students acquire the knowledge and expertise they need for a career in sport.
Courtney, who currently stars in Middlesbrough Women FC’s Northern Division table-topping side, has been hooked by football ever since she started playing for Tyneside girls at the age of 10. In 2008 she joined Newcastle United’s Centre of Excellence, signing for the Magpie’s ladies’ team a year later before heading to the college’s Academy for Sport, based at Gateshead International Stadium, to study sports science and play for the women’s football academy side.
The course equipped Courtney with extensive knowledge of the science behind enhanced sports performance and covered a range of key disciplines including health and fitness, strength and conditioning, sports massage, sports injuries and recovery techniques. It gave her a foundation to progress to a degree in sports development at Northumbria University, where she also studied for a post-graduate qualification in international sports management.
Courtney, who is also a coach at the Sunderland AFC Girls Regional Talent Club (formerly Centre of Excellence), said: “I’m thrilled at taking on my new role at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport. Our learning programmes are suitable for aspiring elite sportsmen and women and those who perhaps don’t want to turn professional but aim to forge a successful career in the sports industry.”
Liam Gumbrill, sports academy lead at Gateshead College, said: “Courtney has used her studies at Gateshead College as the basis for further education and, ultimately, a successful career in the industry. We’re delighted to have someone of her quality and experience on board
“Several of our sport students have excelled on the national stage and this has been influenced by the quality of coaching, learning provision and facilities available to them at Gateshead.”
Academy for Sport students work with coaches to perfect their sporting skills whilst gaining academic and coaching qualifications, all in an environment which inspires them to achieve great success. The college has academies in men’s and women’s football, athletics, basketball, boxing, cricket, golf, netball and rugby.