The programme will give young people aged between 16 – 19 years old a unique opportunity to learn, train, work and play Futsal alongside a number of professional clubs from The Football League Trust, in a national league and pioneering education programme.
The partnership will offer a number of funded Education & Futsal scholarships to young people both male and female in the region. From September, the students will begin a two-year course improving their skills, learning to coach and referee Futsal, whilst studying for a BTEC national qualification in Sport. When completed, the programme offers a number of pathways ranging from a university education through to a career in the active sports and leisure sector.
Students will have the chance to learn and train at St James Park and @Futsal arenas using innovative learning methods involving an online learning platform. They will then have the opportunity to play Futsal against other professional clubs as part of a National Futsal League with The Football League Trust.
Exeter College Principal, Richard Atkins, commented: "Sport is a very important feature of Exeter College and we are delighted to be linking up with @Futsal, Exeter City FC Community Trust and the Football League Trust to develop this exciting new programme for 16 - 19 year olds based at St James Park. I believe that this partnership will offer a high quality educational and sporting experience enabling our students to progress to university degrees or employment.
"Exeter College was recognised as Outstanding by Ofsted earlier this year, resulting from the first ever "no notice" inspection of a further education college in England. Sport is an important part of the college, with over 350 learners studying sports courses and many others taking part in the College's wide range of sporting activities. Futsal will be an exciting and growing element of this sports offer."
Futsal is an official FIFA, UEFA and FA approved 5-a-side variation of football, usually played indoors with an emphasis on technique and creativity, which has grown popular in recent years. Budding stars of the future will get to follow the same development path as global football stars like Messi and Ronaldo, who honed their abilities playing the game of Futsal.
Jamie Vittles, Head of The Community Trust at Exeter City FC adds, “We are delighted to be able to offer these scholarships to both girls and boys and would strongly encourage anybody that is interested to contact us urgently as places are being filled quickly. This is an excellent community based education and sports programme and we are over the moon to be linked-up with such leading partners.“
Frank Rodriguez, Managing Director of the @Futsal Group, said: “ We are delighted to be collaborating with all of our partners in the region on a programme that will enable such positive and far reaching outcomes for young people aspiring to careers or further education in football, sports or leisure.“
John Relish, from the Football League Trust added: “The Football League Trust welcomes this new partnership with Exeter College and our other partners and looks forward to delivering a high quality education programme allied to an exciting match day experience “
The Education and Futsal programmes will also aim to produce elite players that could represent Great Britain in time for Futsal’s proposed debut at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, pending the outcome of ongoing discussions for its inclusion as a demonstration sport. With all of the home nations languishing at the lower levels of FIFA’s official world rankings, one of the programmes core aims is to develop the next generation of international players so that the home nations can rub shoulders with the world’s elite.
Young people male and female aged between 16 and 19 wanting to join the Futsal scholarship programme should apply now through the Futsal web site www.futsaluk.net or by contacting Jamie Vittles at Exeter City FC Community Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download full press release