Supporting students to excel on and off the pitch, with Velocity Head Coach Lauren Haynes

Female students studying Velocity Football’s full-time educational academy have excelled on and off the pitch this academic year, writes Ethan Gough.

The girls – aged 16 to 19 – combine training and competitive matches with studies towards an industry recognised qualification that supports individuals aspiring to fulfil a career in sport.

On the pitch, they sit top of the ECFA Women’s South West (North) division and reached the last 16 of the AOC Cup. Several students have also been selected to represent Oxford City Women and Oxford United Women thanks to Velocity’s proven player pathway for girls who aspire to play professionally.

Head Coach and Tutor Lauren Haynes explained students’ personal development has gone beyond expectation too.

“It’s been brilliant to see the progress everyone has made this academic year,” said Lauren. “The biggest areas of improvement are in the girls’ confidence levels, which are night and day compared to where they were several months ago.

“The pathway we have at Velocity Football for girls aspiring to play football professionally or fulfil a career in sport is the only of its kind in the county. Through our strong community contacts, we have developed multiple pathways for players of outstanding ability.

“Combining daily training sessions and weekly competitive matches has really accelerated the girls’ overall development on the pitch and in the classroom. It’s why Velocity Football attracts students of all abilities and backgrounds which for me is what makes the programme so great.”

In addition to classroom, training and playing commitments, Velocity’s two-year course also promotes the development of essential life skills including organisation, communication and teamwork.

This is achieved by planning and delivering youth football festivals, sourcing work experience opportunities and helping students understand what they want from their future.

Applications to enrol onto Velocity Football’s programme from September 2022 are open now, and Lauren encouraged those interested in a career in sport to sign-up to a dedicated open event on Monday, May 30.

“It’s a great experience,” said Lauren. “Joining Velocity Football allows you to develop as a footballer and gain an industry recognised qualification.

“The programme’s diversity means there are so many opportunities for students. We’re a giving programme based at a giving club and our coaches and tutors are experts in their field.

“You’ll make memories, you’ll make friends for a lifetime and in 10- or 20-years’ time students will look back on their time with Velocity and think ‘those were some of the best years of my life’.  

To attend Velocity Football’s Open Event on Monday, May 30, visitors should email [email protected] or call 0300 303 0890.

The evening will provide a practical insight into the programme’s educational provisions with current tutors and students available to answer any questions.

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