St Joseph’s College is leading the way with supporting talented athletes in education in England, having been accredited by an innovative Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) initiative.
Backed by Sport England, the programme supports young sportspeople on the talent pathway to have the opportunity to gain qualifications alongside their sporting pursuits, whilst following other interests and furthering their personal development.
The accreditation formally recognises the College’s commitment to supporting student-athletes to reach their potential in education alongside achieving success in their sport.
Mr O’Riordan, Director of Sport, said, ‘We are tremendously proud of this achievement and the formal recognition of our hard work over the past five years, including the focus on female sport and the highlighting of a dual career outlook as student athletes embark on their journey to becoming elite performers.’
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson lauded the programme in her Duty of Care in Sport Review, stating, ‘I believe we have a duty to help young people to achieve their potential, whilst prioritising their welfare, wellbeing and education…
‘For me the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme is a vitally important measure to ensure all athletes have the chance to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded approach to life.’
As a dual career accredited site, St Joseph’s will be an important extension of the network of universities that already partner with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 600 student-athletes each year. Services include physiotherapy, nutrition, lifestyle support, psychology strength and conditioning and a private medical scheme.
While some of the existing services delivered focus solely on developing the young person’s sporting performance, a dual career support structure and academic flexibility policies are central to the help available to athletes based at the campus.
The College will receive training and a toolkit of resources to equip it with practical dual career support and bring together all parties who work with the athletes. For student-athletes, the academic flexibility policies may mean they have the opportunity to access online notes or resources, are able to arrange catch up sessions with teaching staff, or even reschedule deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances.
With our enviable track record of preparing young people for careers as professional sportsmen and women, St Joseph’s believes the recognition by TASS will attract even more talented athletes and will build connections with other local sporting institutions.
We are proud of our thriving sport participation programme for all students, from 2 to 18 years and our elite training in Rugby, Football, Netball and Cricket. Our strong partnerships in professional sport include Ipswich Town FC, Northampton Saints RFC and Ealing Trailfinders RFC. In partnership with Ealing the College already operates a successful dual career offering, with top level student athletes progressing to contracts with the club whilst studying for degrees at Uxbridge University.