This year alone has seen an impressive five students, who study at Leigh College, called up for international duty to represent their countries.
The students, who play for Manchester United Women’s Academy study either BTEC Level 3 Sport or Sport & Exercise Science and combine this with their footballing commitments.
Maria Edwards and Sophie Hillyerd were both previously called up to England Women’s Under 18’s training camp at St George’s Park in September and October and have again impressed enough to consolidate their selection in November.
Goalkeeper Sophie said: “Every time I represent my country, I feel so proud and it proves that the hard work I put in on and off the football pitch, day in day out, pays off. Women's football is going places at the moment and it's great to be a part of it.”
Carrie Jones, who won her first international cap for Wales at the age of 15, was selected for her national side again for the recent Euro 2022 qualifiers throughout autumn.
The College (situated on the Leigh Sports Village complex) has welcomed a host of Manchester United Women’s Academy players over the last two years to form a strong partnership with the club.
Each player has enrolled onto BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma courses and has benefitted from receiving a well-structured support network.
This support has recently been acknowledged by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), a Sport England backed programme, after they accredited the College as a Dual Career Accredited Site.
The scheme supports young sportspeople to gain qualifications alongside their sporting pursuits. The College creates bespoke timetables for its elite athletes allowing them to manage both their work and sporting demands.
Maria said: My tutors provide me with lots of support. If I need help with work I can always contact them even when I am away on football duty.”
The College also has two students in Allyssa Aherne and Polly Watson who were called up to the England Women’s Under 17’s training squad in November.
Sports courses ranging from Level 1 to 3 are situated at the Centre of Excellence in Sport on the Leigh Sports Village complex and offers world class facilities. Applications for the 2021/22 academic year are open. Further information and how to apply can be found by visiting https://www.wigan-leigh.ac.uk/courses/sport?cat=16-18 or by ringing 01942 761111.