Male and female student athletes are benefitting from a unique partnership between the North East Sports Academy (NESA) at Tyne Metropolitan College and USA scholarship providers PASS4Soccer.
Callum Harley (pictured) and Jack Pearson - who both study on the College’s Football Excellence programme, which is based at Goals, Newcastle in Gosforth Park, and are both currently completing their final pieces of assessed work - have accepted scholarships in Jones County Junior College (JCJC) in Mississippi and Milligan College in Tennessee respectively.
Callum, who has this season captained the Northumberland FA Under-18 team as well as playing for Whitley Bay FC in the Northern League, will be moving to Mississippi in August to study a Psychology degree.
Jack, who joined the College programme in September in order to access the benefits of the partnership with PASS4Soccer, has been an integral part of the men’s football squad that have competed in the EFCA Category 1 league, where they reached the last eight nationally. On completion of his course, Jack will be joining Milligan College in Tennessee.
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, Kira Whittle, who travels daily from County Durham in order to access the benefits of the partnership, has recently accepted a scholarship at Park University in Missouri and will be joining their programme following the College’s Women’s Football participation in the New York City Cup in July.
Kira, who has recently completed a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, was part of the Women’s Academy team that won their ECFA Category 1 Group 1 this season, putting in some solid performances at centre-half which were recognised with a nomination for the Academy’s Player of the Year.
The North East Sports Academy (NESA), which provides 16+ learners with the opportunity to combine their chosen vocational or academic studies with playing competitive football - both on a regional and national level - have had a number of learners progress onto USA scholarships in recent years. The College, which currently has four men’s and two female football teams to ensure that they cater for players of all abilities, participates in the ECFA Category 1 leagues as well as representation in the North East Colleges League, which is exclusive to further education colleges in the North East.
PASS4Soccer, formed in 2002 and based out of the College’s Coast Road campus in Battle Hill, specialise in securing soccer scholarships in US universities for players from the UK, Europe and around the world.
Their team of expert staff have built up strong relationships with hundreds of University Coaches from all across the USA and solely focus on soccer scholarship to ensure that learners receive the highest level of service.
Daniel Gray, who is Director of PASS4Soccer and oversees all recruitment, placement and after-placement care of students, said: “Kira, Callum and Jack have shown great dedication throughout the process and will be joining three of our trusted contacts that we have worked with over the years. They have attended numerous events to maximise their exposure and communicated positively with the coaching staff in the USA to build the necessary relationships. A lot of paperwork is required behind the scenes and the players have diligently completed each stage through our guidance. We are excited to follow their progress and confident they will be great ambassadors for our program and TyneMet - both on and off the pitch. I have personally visited Park University so know Kira is going to love the university and the surrounding area of Kansas City.”
Chris Wall, Deputy Head of Sport for NESA, added: “We are delighted for all learners that have been awarded their scholarships. Through NESA we strive to support and develop our student’s sporting ambitions and career aspirations. We have specialist coaches in many sporting disciplines and we develop individual training programmes that can be fitted into a student's academic timetable.
The partnership with Pass4soccer is unique and supports the aspirations of a small number of our learners that wish to study and play Soccer in the USA. Callum, Jack and Kira are just a small number of the many successful students that we have supported this year who will progress onto their preferred destination. Each success is a testament to the high quality of coaching and teaching delivered by the professional and dedicated NESA and curriculum teams at TyneMet.”
If you require further information on the range of courses on offer at Tyne Metropolitan College, Queen Alexandra Sixth Form (www.queenalex.co.uk) or the TMC (www.tmc-campus.co.uk), please visit www.tynemet.ac.uk and head to the ‘school leavers’ section.
Furthermore, if you have any queries or would like to book onto either of the summer camps or would like further information regarding TyneMet’s partnership with Pass4soccer, please contact Marc Nash (Men’s Football) or Carl Chater (Women’s Football) on the following emails: