A Billingham college is leading the way when it comes to supporting talented athletes in education.
SRC Bede Sixth Form has been recognised for the support it provides to up and coming sporting talent by being awarded Dual Career Accredited College status by the Talented Athletes Scholarship Scheme (TASS).
TASS is a Sport England-backed programme that supports talented young athletes to pursue their education alongside their sporting aspirations, without having to choose between the two.
By working in partnership with education institutions, the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme enables young athletes to successfully manage a dual career – balancing the demands of education with training and competition.
SRC Bede Principal, Ben Robinson, said: “At SRC Bede Sixth Form we recognise the pressures that young athletes face and the impact that this can have on academic progress and mental wellbeing.
“We have the infrastructure to fully support young athletes and have strategies in place to ensure they can make progress in both their education and sporting goals.”
As part of the Dual Career Accreditation Scheme, SRC Bede will offer its young athletes on the talent pathway the chance to develop their skills at a range of dual career workshops.
Athletes will also be able to access expert coaching, sports therapy, strength and conditioning supports services, nutrition, physiotherapy and psychology support.
Ben said: “This is a great opportunity for both our current students and young talented sports performers across the whole of the Tees Valley considering their next move after leaving school.”
Having played as a youth with Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, as well as playing national league basketball with Tees Valley Mohawks, Ben understands more than most the difficult choices faced by young sporting achievers.
He said: “Young athletes can often feel they are being dragged in two different directions, having to decide whether they pursue their sporting ambition or academic success.
“For me it was a choice of one or the other. I went with the educational route. But by adopting a dual career ethos we can offer the chance to do both.”
With a place on the TASS National Management Group, this is a message that Ben is keen to share with those young people with sporting talent.
As a Dual Career Accredited Site, SRC Bede Sixth Form is now an important extension of the network of universities that already partner with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 600 student athletes across the UK each year.
TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to colleges and universities across England.
“Dual career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that’s why the Accreditation Scheme is so important for us in recognising those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education too.”