Riseholme partnership opens up qualification opportunities

The partnership between Lincoln City Academy and Riseholme College has grown to offer new progression opportunities for aspiring young footballers - with a higher-level HNC study agreement meaning players can gain qualifications that could open up a wealth of career opportunities on and off the field.

The Imps’ Academy has been based at the college’s Showground Campus, which is next to Lincolnshire Showground, for almost four years. The Shadow Academy was launched in 2019, giving Level 3 Sport students at Riseholme, who show the potential to play football at a high level the foundation for greater education opportunities to support more careers in professional football, both on and off the field. Now, under the new partnership agreement, career and development opportunities are being extended to Shadow Scholars, who can benefit from a university level HNC programme in sport & exercise science.

Under the new agreement, HNC sport & exercise science students at Riseholme will have the chance to impress City's staff as well as train and play with the Imps’ scholars beyond the age of 18. The study programme will provide unique employment pathways, combining excellent academic qualifications with high level performance football. Lectures will cover key areas such as sport & exercise psychology, anatomy & physiology, nutrition, training, fitness & testing, technology in sport, coaching practice & skill development, professional skills and biomechanics.

The close partnership with Lincoln City will also give students access to a wide range of non-playing, yet industry related, work experience. Industry placements at the club could focus on many areas, including; performance analysis, coaching, media engagement and management as well as recruitment and medical support. The qualification and delivery partnership means that students will gain the hands-on skills and professional knowledge to support and open a wealth or realistic careers off the field.

Lincoln City director of football Jez George said: “The reason our partnership continues to grow is that we share core values in wanting to maximise opportunities for young people through education. We believe the value of education in sport, and specifically football in this case, is crucial to enable young people with the greatest possible choice of future careers. To now be able to offer an opportunity to combine education and football beyond the age of 18 is a fantastic development for us and another exciting strand to our ongoing relationship with Riseholme College. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of students next September.”

Danny Metters, vice principal at Riseholme College, said: “I am thrilled that our partnership with Lincoln City continues to grow and open up more opportunities for young people who want to work in the sport industry. The value of sport in education is important. The success of linking sport with wider, transferable skills such as decision making, team building and business management is tried and tested. Enhancing our qualification offer to these students, we are able to support them in achieving their full potential as a player, whilst equipping them with the skills and knowledge they will need for a successful career in the industry, beyond their playing years.”

Riseholme specialises in college and university level study in agriculture, animal management, engineering, equine and sport, while also delivering many courses in more generalist subjects, including business, food and public services.