Careers in professional sport
Velocity Football has been created to provide a platform for post-GCSE students that aspire towards a career in sport to gain relevant qualifications while working in a professional football environment.
The full-time government-funded courses are hosted at Oxford City Football Club and take place over one or two years, depending on which course you choose to enrol in.
But what qualifications will you gain? How do you enrol? And why does Velocity Football appeal to our current students? With the help of director Justin Merritt and Noa Ben-Adel who is studying our Level Three BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, we aim to answer those questions here.
Educational platform for growth
Velocity Football provides students with four course options. Each course has been structured to provide a pathway to higher education and industry opportunities, meaning students can leave Velocity Football with multiple qualifications in sports coaching and sport and exercise science.
Level Three BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport
Post-GCSE students that have four GCSEs – including English and Maths – can enrol onto our Level Three BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport. The full-time two-year course is worth up to three A Levels and is designed for students intending to follow a career as a sports coach.
The course is also appropriate for those considering a career in health and wellbeing, sports development and sports psychology as our UEFA A and B Licence coaches tutor you through five classroom units between training sessions on Oxford City’s 3G playing surface.
Completion of the Level Three BTEC programme allows students to continue their studies with Velocity Football via our Level Four Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Sport, or elsewhere via our excellent partnership with Oxford Brookes University.
Level Four Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Sport
Our HNC programme can be accessed by those with 96 UCAS points, a GCSE in English or Maths or a Higher Education certificate. The HNC programme introduces new sectors under the professional sport umbrella, including nutrition, anatomy and physiology, lifestyle and health and injury prevention. The HNC course includes at least two days of lectures and seminars plus at least one day in a work placement – that work placement can be provided within Oxford City FC.
The HNC course forms part of a three-year pathway which culminates in students studying a BSC (Hons) degree in Sports Coaching after they have completed both the HNC course and Level Five BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) programme in Sport and Exercise Science.
BSC (Hons) degree in Sports Coaching
For students that have successfully completed a HND in Sport, there is the option to continue studying through our BSC (Hons) degree in Sports Coaching. The one-year course provides students with the opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge obtained in the HNC and HND programmes.
The year will focus on extending students’ knowledge in three fields: coaching, management of sports development strategy and sports science. Students will also further develop their understanding of nutrition, safeguarding and first aid while exploring motivation techniques and styles of communication.
Employment possibilities upon completing the course are vast. Graduates that have studied the course now hold roles including sports nutritionist, sports psychologist, sports therapist, exercise physiologist, lifestyle advisor, health and fitness professional.
The degree is split into two semesters, each semester contains three modules which will be individually assessed by written examinations, essays, reports, portfolios, performances, presentations, and the final project.
Building a career in professional sport
Noa Ben-Adel, 16, was one of the first students to enrol in Velocity Football’s Level Three BTEC programme. Below, he explains why Velocity Football appealed to him and what he hopes to achieve in the future.
“Studying at sixth form didn’t appeal to me,” said Noa. “Velocity Football offers people my age a great chance to develop their footballing skills while earning a relevant qualification that will allow me to pursue a career in sport.
“I would love to make a living by playing football professionally, and that dream can still be fuelled by the training that our coaches provide each day at Oxford City’s excellent facilities.
“But if I learn in the future that my dream is not possible, I still want to be involved in the game in a different element – that could be coaching or sports psychology. The educational programmes Velocity Football offer me are very important.”
Velocity Football director Justin Merritt added: “Of course we want to fuel that dream of becoming a professional footballer for those students that see that career as a possibility.
“But Velocity Football is primarily about creating well-rounded individuals through our enjoyable educational programmes.
“Students that graduate from Velocity Football can look forward to a thriving career in the sports industry in a number of sectors. That’s why we are so proud to deliver a varying degree of insightful modules that cover every aspect of the professional game from nutrition to strength and conditioning.”
First class facilities
Velocity Football programmes are delivered at the home of National League South club, Oxford City FC. The stadium prides itself on its first-class facilities, which include a 3G FIFA Pro pitch, a second 3G training pitch, a mini gym, hard courts, classrooms, changing rooms, catering facilities and social area.
For classroom work, the campus has high speed fibre internet with wi-fi and suites suitable for performance and video analysis. New for this academic year is the stadium’s pop-up lunch and rechange hub, which serves protein shakes, healthy meals, and snacks to students in between training sessions and lectures.
Our key aim at Velocity Football is to encourage each student to fulfil their potential and create an individual that can thrive in a professional environment. To do that, we have carefully selected and bonded an excellent team of coaching staff. They have a wealth of experience, and some of them have previously held roles at Football League clubs including Derby County, Oxford United, Bristol City and Watford.
We also have excellent ties with the local community and broader football industry. Our partnership with Oxford Brookes University serves to strengthen education and performance opportunities for Velocity students, Brookes students and Oxford City footballers. We are privileged to hold a strong relationship with Oxford City FC too, which enables us to place students into real life scenarios during their studies by taking up a work experience placement that appeals to them within the football club.