Budding female footballers are being offered a unique chance to represent Sunderland AFC while gaining nationally recognised qualifications.
The club’s official charity the Foundation of Light has teamed up with South Tyneside College and Monkwearmouth Sixth Form Academy to offer a new Football Scholarship programme to help girls aged 16 to 18 develop their football skills while continuing their education.
Players will be coached by the foundation’s UEFA and FA licensed coaches with the classroom element – which includes a BTEC Level 2 or Level 3 in Sport – being delivered by the charity’s specialist Education Coordinators.
While the girls study they will also play against development teams from across the country including Chelsea and Reading.
Games will be filmed by the University of Sunderland with performance analysis included in the programme to aid development.
The programme is an extension of the foundation’s successful Football Scholarship programme launched in 2016 which has seen teams based at Sunderland and Shildon take the FA Under 19 Development League by storm with each Scholar on target to reach their academic goals in the classroom.
Players from both sites have also been selected to represent Sunderland AFC’s Academy, Ebac Northern League sides such as Shildon AFC, Seaham Red Star, Brandon United and Tow Law, as well as Durham County and trialling for England Schools.
Martin Jones, football scholarship manager, said: “This is a unique opportunity for talented young female players who want to develop a career within the game and gain nationally recognised qualifications.
“Following the huge success of the men’s Football Scholarship, which has seen our players excel both on and off the field, we are continuing our commitment to providing opportunities for women and girls from grassroots sport through to the elite level.”
The two-year course will be run from Monkwearmouth Academy in Sunderland and is available for girls aged 16-18.
Prospective students will be required to attend a presentation event at the Stadium of Light on Thursday, February 23, at either 1pm or 5pm followed by a footballing trial at a date to be confirmed.
To attend the Girls Football Scholarship open events, or for an informal chat, contact Gemma Bramley on 551 5313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.