Workington Reds form Academy with Lakes College
Last updated at 12:47, Friday, 17 June 2011
WORKINGTON Reds have set up links with Lakes College to form the first football academy in west Cumbria.
Chairman Humphrey Dobie visited the Lillyhall campus to launch the programme, which aims to offer students the chance to earn qualifications with the possibility of furthering their football career with Reds’ reserve side.
He was joined by manager Darren Edmondson, who is a sports lecturer at the college, and former student and Reds midfielder Adam Main.
Applications for courses which start in September are already being taken and Edmondson said it was vital that the football club continue to produce home-grown talent.
He added that gaining qualifications would also help students go on to university and described the partnership as a win-win situation. He said: “Lakes College is the biggest educational establishment in the area and it’s vital to establish links with the biggest club in the area.
“Adam is the perfect example of what this academy is looking to do which is promote education and also give lads the opportunity to take their football career to the next level.
“Education means everything because qualifications open the door to other opportunities. Lakes College can offer quality courses which will help students succeed. While Reds can offer footballers the chance to play at a very good standard.
“It’s becoming more and more difficult to become a footballer these days but the package we are offering is giving students a great chance to shine both educationally and in football.”
Dobie said it was imperative that young people are given the chance to continue playing football after they leave school but that education was equally important.
He added that links between the two had grown since manager Edmondson had started teaching.
He said: “These links will benefit Workington Reds, Lakes College and the young people of West Cumbria.
“We have had some star names like Glenn Murray and Grant Holt come through our reserve team and more recently with Adam Main, who has become a very important player for us.
“These lads have been given a chance to make it in football and we have created this link to give other aspiring footballers the chance to play football and earn qualifications.
“There is a wealth of talent in West Cumbria that needs to be given a platform to perform on so they can showcase their talents. We want to be part of that. We want to develop the skills of young players but we also want them to get a good education too.
“Our ideal would be to have a team of West Cumbrians representing Workington Reds in a few years time.
“Fitness and sport is crucial to the development of young people. It’s imperative that youngsters take part in sport and we want to help these people remain healthy.”
Through the new links, students will be able to get expert training from Edmondson and other tutors at the college.
Former student Adam Main, who is now studying physical education at the University of Cumbria, revealed the importance of the college and Workington Reds have had on his development.
He said: I’ve benefited greatly from coming to college to earn qualifications as well as training and playing for Workington Reds.
“With Lakes College and Workington Reds joining forces it’s giving other young people a great chance to succeed.”
“Football is a great way to keep fit and brings a lot of enjoyment but you have to have qualifications to fall back on.“Lakes College is a great place to learn and with the excellent tutors within the sports department can get the best out of you.”Danny Braithwaite, head of faculty at the college, added: “This is an excellent example of how sport and education can align to maximise interest and engage young people in education.“By combining interest, potential and high levels of outstanding learning it really demonstrates what can be achieved.”
First published at 11:30, Friday, 17 June 2011
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk