An East Yorkshire college is leading the way in the development of grassroots football in the region.
Bishop Burton College is encouraging young players of all abilities and backgrounds to get involved in the game after being named as one of the first FA ‘Football Super Hubs’ in the country.
The college, which runs a range of sports courses and academy teams, will focus particularly on widening the participation among minority groups to ensure everyone can get involved. Eddy Birch, Sports Development Officer at Bishop Burton, said: “Super Hub status means we are recognised nationally as a leading educational establishment in the development of grassroots football. We do our best to prepare our students for a life beyond college and we are using football as a vehicle to do just that, not just through playing, but also coaching and volunteering. We have a number of recreational, as well as competitive teams, and it is about getting as many young people involved as possible. The idea of the Super Hubs is to engage the minority groups who perhaps haven’t previously had the opportunity or accessibility to play football. At Bishop Burton, we want to provide an opportunity for everyone who wants to take part. Our aim ultimately is to teach our students how to work independently and as part of a team, to enhance the football programme in the local community.”
The Super Hub network was launched this season by the FA in partnership with the English Colleges Football Association (ECFA). The scheme has three key purposes;
*Consultancy group – The network will act as a football development advisory group, helping to shape the delivery of grassroots football.
*Grow the game – It will aim to provide more and better inclusive playing opportunities for students and the community, focusing on priority areas including women’s and girls’, disability and futsal.
*Develop the workforce – Staff at the Super Hubs will share best practice and hear from experts in the sector to improve their own knowledge and delivery skills.
Bishop Burton, near Beverley, was granted official status this month after submitting an application.
Jessica Nicholson, 17, who plays for the college’s women’s team, said: “This news is going to mean even more people will want to get involved. There are really good facilities here and this will just broaden the offer further. The women’s game is growing and more and more people are wanting to take part.”
Levi Tarbottom, 17, captain of the men’s football team, was recently selected for the English College’s League squad after a successful season with Bishop Burton. He said: “I came to this college because of the football programme and I think more people will now do the same. It is really good news that the college will now be able to widen its offer. I’m really interested in coaching after my playing career finishes and I am learning about that here too.”
Volunteer Coach Nick Ireland added: “I think his is amazing news because it will encourage a lot more students to get involved in the game. Here at Bishop Burton, we are looking to get everyone involved.”
For more information, visit https://www.bishopburton.ac.uk/sport