A collaboration between Bobby Kasanga’s Hackney Wick FC and Loughborough Sport, the academy aims to provide top-quality education and guidance to Hackney Wick’s emerging young footballers.
Hackney Wick FC and Loughborough University and College (Loughborough Sport) have come together to launch the Hackney Wick FC Academy at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The academy is set to provide students with the opportunity to play for Hackney Wick FC and enrol on Loughborough College’s BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development, as taught at its Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park campus. The BTEC teaches students about physiology, sports psychology, nutrition and applied coaching skills.
The academy will officially open its doors in September 2024.
Hackney Wick FC is a renowned community football club. It was founded in 2015 by Bobby Kasanga. After spending almost eight years in prison, Kasanga sought to provide opportunities for young people so that they could avoid the path that he had taken years before. Aware of the absence of semi-professional football clubs in Hackney, Kasanga saw football as the perfect tool to engage young people in the local area.
In addition to training over 160 young people and 70 adults, Hackney Wick FC has run multiple community impact projects. By offering educational workshops, sporting opportunities, mentoring and access to work opportunities, the club works to actively engage those on the brink or currently involved in gang life and increase public awareness of the threats young people from marginalised groups face today.
Speaking to us about the collaboration with Loughborough Sport, Kasanga says ‘It’s amazing. Loughborough is so prestigious, so many Olympians come from there. The fact that they have acknowledged us and trusted us as a partner is a big deal for us.’
‘Lots of young people want to be footballers but only 0.1% of them actually go on to become professional footballers. We want to show young people that there are lots of different avenues into sports, like coaching or physiotherapy. The academy fits in with our [Hackney Wick FC] ethos of providing opportunity.’
With the mission of Hackney Wick FC and the facilities and personnel of Loughborough Sport, the Hackney Wick FC Academy promises to empower the young people of Hackney Wick and highlight the ways in which football can unite a community.
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