A new Supported Learning Sport and Football Academy, the first of its kind in the UK, launched earlier this year by Walsall College has seen 20 students enrol on the programme.
Designed especially for students with learning difficulties and disabilities, the Academy has been set up to provide supported learning students with opportunities to gain accredited qualifications and progression routes to higher level sport courses at college or to employment.
As part of the programme, students work towards an entry level Sports qualification alongside Functional Skills qualifications in English, maths and ICT. The course also includes work related elements to support students to develop their practical and employability skills.
In addition, the college has entered 7 football teams, as well as a girls’ team, across 5 competitive leagues across the region, including the Association of Colleges (AoC) West Midlands and the Birmingham County Ability Counts leagues.
Curriculum Manager for Supported Learning at Walsall College, Paul Bagnall, said: “We are delighted with the fantastic start we’ve had to the academy, and we now hope to build on this and continue improving access to sport for more students.
“We are looking to develop our links within the community even further to ensure sport qualifications are inclusive to all students who want to achieve them.”
“Taking part in sports activities is a great way to help improve students’ results, self-confidence and health and well-being.”