Oxford City FC have launched a new full-time education course designed for teenagers who want to pursue a career in sport.
Velocity is new and improved football and education programme for male and female students aged between 16 to 18 and 19 to 23. The programmes combine football and sport business with academia for students aspiring for a career in sport. Velocity will deliver separate full-time programmes for males and females.
The BTEC and degree courses provide a unique opportunity to train, play, learn, and achieve in football and education. The programmes are the only ones of their kind in Oxfordshire and represent an exciting development in sport and education provision in the county. Velocity has been created in conjunction with partners Ignite Sport UK and Oxford City who have been delivering education programmes for almost 20 years.
Velocity has been created to provide an unrivalled progression pathway for football, education, and career opportunities via a supportive and progressive post GCSE environment.
The head coach for the male programme is Mickey Lewis and Lauren Hayes for the female programme. Mickey holds a UEFA A licence and is Oxford City’s head of academy, he has played more than 400 professional football matches for WBA, Derby County and Oxford United. Lauren is the captain of Oxford United Women FC. They will be assisted by an experienced team of UEFA B coaches, in-house personal trainers, sports therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, and academic tutors.
Mickey 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.”
Lauren 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.”
Justin Merritt, Velocity and Oxford City director, 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.”
Based at Oxford City’s stadium and the Community Arena in Marston, students will have the unique chance to join the football club’s academy, in addition to receiving wider development via coaching modules, academic education, and work experience within the football club. Education is delivered via face to face teaching with additional support provided by education partners Virtual Learning UK.
Units will include health and wellbeing, applied coaching skills, sports development, and sports psychology. The programmes are designed to enable progression to higher education, a career in sport, and playing opportunities.
“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,” added Justin. Places are available now for the new course which starts in September. Entry requirements are four GCSEs.