Reading FC and East Berkshire College strike up a winning partnership

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East Berkshire College, which has colleges in Langley and Windsor, is delighted to be working in partnership with Reading FC's Community Trust on a new Futsal Academy. A special presentation was held to announce the partnership at half-time during the club's championship match against Huddersfield at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday (29th March 2014).

The partnership aims to encourage young people of all abilities, both male and female, to get involved in futsal (a FIFA approved five-a-side football game) and develop transferable skills through sport. Working together, the trust and the College will provide coaching sessions for schools in the Slough area and run tournaments at the College's brand new Sports Centre, which includes one of the only official futsal pitches in the south-east.

Students on the College's sports programmes will also have the opportunity to undertake work experience at the Madejski Stadium, hear from guest speakers from the club and train at The Dome - the club's superb £1million indoor training centre.

Graham Try, Deputy Principal for Finance & Resources at East Berkshire College, explains: "East Berkshire College is extremely proud to be working in partnership with such a renowned club as Reading FC. We have an excellent reputation in sport and we always aim to provide our students with the very best facilities and coaches to enable them to achieve their ambitions. This partnership will not only benefit our students and staff, but also local schools and the wider community."

Futsal is a five a-side game played with hockey-sized goals and a smaller ball, which is approved by FIFA, UEFA and the FA. Vital in the development of young players and easy to play, Futsal helps to improve technique, movement, tactical awareness and fitness.

Dave Evans, Reading FC Community Trust Manager, said: "We are very excited at this new partnership, East Berkshire College is going through a huge refurbishment with excellent leisure facilities for young people right in the heart of one of the hot beds of footballing talent – we are all about caring, developing and educating young people using football [Futsal] as the main engagement tool, the Futsal project we feel is an excellent way we can help achieve these objectives."

The College is fast becoming a centre of excellence for sport and offers students the chance to develop their skills in a new £5million Sports Centre, which includes a multi-purpose sports hall, fully-equipped gym and dance studio. Combining education and sporting excellence, the academy offers males and females the chance to study a full-time course whilst training to an elite level alongside professional coaches.

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and is currently undertaking a £30m refurbishment of its Langley College to provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for current and future students. These improvements include a new sports centre, Hospitality & Catering Academy, commercial hair and beauty salons and an Innovation Hub.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses, including sports courses, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

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