Velocity students shine on return to play

Velocity Football students enjoyed a return to playing development matches.

In line with the Government’s roadmap to reduce COVID-19 restrictions students were able to return to pitches and take part in competitive matches again.

Three squads comprising of male and female students studying the full-time educational academy’s BTEC, Higher National Diploma and Higher National Certificate programmes delivered in partnership with Virtual Learning UK were fielded.

They played in matches against Pro Direct Academy Watford, Woking FC Academy and Maidenhead United Academy respectively.

Both boys’ teams won their games as Pro Direct Academy Watford were beaten 4-1 while a second squad won away at Woking 3-0. The female team meanwhile secured a 2-2 draw away to Maidenhead.

For Velocity Football Director Justin Merritt, the return to playing was a welcome development for the programme.

He said: “Matches and playing competitively are both important elements of the Velocity Football programme,” said Justin. “They help students to develop and learn. By playing together they strengthen their teamwork and technical skills and it complements the work we do in training.

“We recognise most of our students have ambitions to fulfil careers in sport outside of being a footballer, so we field multiple teams that cater for players of all abilities to make the Velocity experience as enjoyable as possible.

“I travelled with the squad to Woking and there was a real buzz on the journey there and back. It is something we have all missed dearly. Identical reports filtered through from our two other fixtures this week.

“It’s great to see students playing again, the games help us to support the provision of sport in what has been a challenging academic year.”   

Velocity Football operates teams in the National League and Tactics Leagues for male and female students who wish to play games as part of their syllabus.

Latham Hawkins, who studies Velocity’s Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport programme delivered via Virtual Learning UK, scored a brace in his team’s 4-1 win against Pro Direct Academy Watford.

Returning to the football pitch was a big moment for him.

“We trained remotely during the recent lockdown with sessions delivered by our coaching team on Zoom,” he said. “It was great to stay engaged with my mates and tutors, but you can’t beat playing a real game.

“It’s often the best part of the programme and we all get a real buzz on the pitch regardless of if we win, lose or draw. Scoring two goals at Oxford City FC was amazing and I was so happy we won.” 

Velocity Football’s BTEC, Higher National Certificate (HNC), and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses provide 16- to 23-year-olds with the education, experience and opportunities to follow a career in sport.

The programme is currently recruiting students to join for the 2021-22 academic year. Further information about how to sign up is available on the academy website Velocity Football – Oxford City Football Academy or you can email courses@ignitesportuk.com.

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