A football-based educational academy in Oxford will welcome a record number of female students in September – weeks after England’s historic European Championships triumph.
Velocity Football supports females aspiring to fulfil a career in sport by establishing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to work in the industry via its higher education qualifications.
Based at the RAW Charging Stadium in Marston, home of National League South club Oxford City FC, the programme is open to males and females aged 16-23 and combines full-time football training with education, work experience and competitive matches.
Lauren Haynes, Head Coach of Velocity’s female programme and Oxford United Women’s captain, expects to see regular year-on-year increases in the number of female students who enrol.
“It’s extraordinary to see how much the women’s game has developed even in the last decade,” said Lauren. “From record-breaking attendances to ground-breaking media rights agreements and England’s win at the European Championships this summer.
“Women’s football – and sport generally – has never experienced such a positive and engaging summer. It’s encouraging to see the first shoots of growth concerning outside influence as more girls in Oxfordshire consider football and sport as suitable career pathways.
“Opportunities and roles connected to the sports industry are endless, with course graduates enjoying successful careers in coaching, strength and conditioning, sports analysis and the media. Some have even achieved the ultimate dream of playing football professionally.
“It promises to be our busiest academic year to date, and we’re excited to build on the positive foundations Velocity has established since the programme was revamped in August 2020 – 19 years after it was launched.”
Just like England, Velocity’s female cohort experienced their own success on the pitch last summer by winning The College Cup Festival, finishing runners up in the AoC South League and reaching the last 16 of the prestigious National Cup.
The programme works closely with Oxford City Women and the club’s development centre by providing a proven pathway for players with outstanding ability.
Aliyah Anthony, Velocity coach and Oxford City Women’s Head Coach, added: “I’ve never known a more exciting time than now to be involved in women’s football.
“It’s really encouraging to know a record number of female students have decided to enrol onto our programme this summer, many off the back of England’s success at the Women’s Euro.
“Oxford City FC is entering a new era for women’s football too, and we have big plans to hand opportunities to hard-working and talented students who go above and beyond both in the classroom and on the training ground.
“Velocity Football is the programme to join if you want to be exposed to both sides of the football coin in terms of gaining an education while playing and training in a fun, inclusive and professional environment for all abilities.”
Spaces to enrol onto Velocity Football’s BTEC, HNC and HND courses in September are open now and can be secured by visiting the programme’s website or emailing [email protected].