PRIESTLEY College is leading the way in supporting talented athletes in England after receiving a new accreditation.
The honour was awarded by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) recognising the way Priestley supports students in achieving both their sporting and academic goals.
“Duel career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that’s why the accreditation scheme is so important for us in recognizing those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education too,” said TASS national director Guy Taylor.
“We hope the academic flexibility policies put into place for the accreditation will begin to develop an effective and lasting duel career structure within each institution.”
Priestley is now selecting those students who will most benefit from being on the scheme.
Among the 16 who have already been chosen are GB rowers, jujitsu athletes, swimmers, kickboxers, as well as regional Thai boxers and rugby players.
By highlighting their sporting commitments and successes, tutors will be able to offer extra support such as virtual catchup sessions to review work when a student is competing away from home.
In exceptional circumstances they might also be allowed deadline extensions for assignments.
Priestley also plans to organise workshops focusing on time management, goal setting, nutrition, prioritising sleep, First Aid and careers.
“The idea is to make sure all tutors and staff realise how many hours a week these athletes are dedicating to training and competing, often travelling around the country and abroad,” said sport tutor Kathy Butler.
“We want to make sure the students are fully supported academically and that their sporting challenges and successes are celebrated properly in college.”
TASS is backed by Sport England and said that Priestley would now be an important part of a network supporting more than 600 young athletes across the country.
In backing the scheme gold medal-winning Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said there was a duty to help young people achieve their potential, whilst prioritising their welfare, wellbeing and education.
“For the vast majority of athletes, skills and formal qualifications are needed to help them find alternative careers, either alongside their sporting activities or once their sporting days are over,” she said.
“For me the TASS Dual Accreditation Scheme is a vitally important measure in ensuring all athletes have the chance to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded approach to life.”