Teenagers are being offered the chance to take the first steps towards a career in coaching with Sunderland AFC’s official charity.
The Foundation, the registered charity of the Black Cats, is now recruiting participants aged 16 and 17 on its Coaches Academy programme.
The scheme is widely-regarded as the ideal “first step” for teens looking for a career in coaching.
Ideal for those who left school in Summer 2017, the two-year programme offers a combination of qualifications, on-the-job mentoring and work experience alongside some of the country’s best coaching staff.
Every participant who completes the course is guaranteed an interview with the Foundation of Light, with bosses highlighting that many former participants have gone on to senior coaching roles within the organisation, representing Sunderland abroad in places including Ireland, Spain and Singapore in the process.
For youngsters and parents wanting to know more there is a special open evening planned for Monday, January 15, at the Stadium of Light at 7pm.
Jamie Wright, Foundation of Light Assistant Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for those who left school in 2017 and haven’t made the career progress they hoped they would have.
“The Coaches Academy is one of our flagship programmes and it perfectly balances the qualifications, skills and experience someone would need to become a sports coach.”
Nathan Kew, a Coaches Academy graduate who is now coaching at Sunderland AFC’s Academy of Light, added: “The Coaches Academy gave me everything I needed to kick-off my career.
“I never imagined that within four years of leaving school I’d be coaching at the Academy of Light but the Coaches Academy made that possible and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others.”
From September, the classroom-based aspects of the Coaches Academy will be hosted within the Beacon of Light, the Foundation’s soon to be completed community sports and education facility, next to the Stadium of Light.
The programme offers BTEC Level 3 and Level 2 qualifications dependent upon GCSE results, alongside FA Football Coaching Level 1 and Level 2 Awards.
For further information about the Coaches Academy visit www.foundationoflight.co.uk or to book onto the Open Evening email firstname.lastname@example.org.