The Female Football Academy, launched by Writtle University College (WUC) and Leyton Orient Football Club, is celebrating a successful first term.
The innovative programme started in September 2020. Post-16 learners study for qualifications while benefiting from professional football coaching. Student Katie joined to improve her performance within the game. She explained: "I enjoy playing football so I wanted to improve my skills."
Academy members enjoy eight hours of coaching and games per week. They train in the mornings and in the afternoon study for a Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Sport, Fitness & Personal Training.
This one-year, full-time qualification is consistent with current industry practice and provides learners with the skills they will need to enter direct employment within the health and fitness sector. They also have the opportunity to progress onto a second year of study that will allow them to graduate with an Extended Diploma in Sport, Fitness & Personal Training, that will also allow them to progress into several different degree pathways.
Along with these academic qualifications, and the professional coaching sessions, they also undertake the Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification, a nationally recognised award that allows them to work within the gym and fitness industry.
The coaching and course aim to enhance students' knowledge on an individual level and offers them opportunities to work as part of a team. Phoebe, said: "I wanted to join the Academy to meet new people who enjoy the same thing as me." Academy members have been enjoying Covid safe group training sessions within the University College's extensive, open-air playing fields.
Female Football Academy Course Manager Alice Langley says: "We've been thrilled by the response to the Female Football Academy. The growing interest in girls' and women's football within Essex is fantastic and it's great to be able to partner with Leyton Orient to support our students as they build practical skills and playing opportunities while studying for an industry-linked academic course."