Telford College has been awarded official ‘Super Hub’
status as part of a nationwide initiative to increase community football participation.
The Haybridge campus is one of just 22 colleges nationwide to be chosen as new hubs this year.
Over the next two academic years, Super Hubs will have access to additional support for the delivery and development of football and futsal.
It means bases such as Telford College will be at the forefront of new initiatives, and have first access to pilot projects and innovation sessions to support the development of the game, as well as the opportunity to apply for further funding.
The Super Hubs project is part of the FA College Grassroots Hubs grant funding initiative, run by AoC Sport in partnership with the Football Association.
Hubs can access funding to invest in their college and forge partnerships with the local football community to create greater opportunities to play and boost participation numbers.
Grassroots hubs have four main aims:
- To retain and grow male and female, adult and youth participation
- To develop inclusive playing pathways for football and futsal that offer a wide variety of flexible inclusive playing opportunities
- To embed student leadership programmes, which generate more and better coaches, referees and volunteers to service the grassroots game.
- To open up facilities to help grassroots football clubs gain access to sustainable use of new or existing sports facilities
The AoC said it had been ‘overwhelmed’ by the number and quality of applications for the Super Hub project.
Claire Riekstins, from the Telford College sports department, said: “The funding will allow us to increase the amount of sessions we deliver, with the aim of growing college and community football.
“We will look to deliver more football sessions for under-represented groups, increase the number of recreational sessions we offer, recruit student activators and create links with local community groups and schools.
“We will also use the funding to develop and up-skill a student workforce by helping them to gain coaching qualifications, and give them the experience of working in a football environment.”
The Grassroots Hub announcement comes just weeks after FA chairman Greg Clarke visited Telford College to hear about an exciting collaboration with Shropshire FA to create a ¬£1.6 million centre of excellence on the site.
During his visit he said: “My job is to support projects like the one proposed in Telford.
“We want to see hubs like this built in towns and cities throughout the UK. By working together, we can build some wonderful facilities in a sensible and cost-effective way.”