There was a blue buzz at St Mary’s University when the Chelsea FC Foundation Industry Insights event was held on campus. The day saw over 120 Chelsea FC Foundation post-16 college students from across the south of England attend the university for a morning of presentations. These were by guest speakers from across various departments of the football club and Foundation.
It is the first time since 2019 that the Industry Insights event has taken place on campus, and the event was organised through the Chelsea FC Foundation Coaching & Development degree which the Foundation delivers in partnership with St Mary’s University.
Students listened to presentations about the wide variety of career opportunities within the football and sports sector, with staff from the Foundation, Chelsea FC Academy, Chelsea FC Hospitality, and the FA National Youth Forum detailing their academic and employment journeys. The morning was closed with an inspirational keynote discussion from Rt Hon Sir Hugh Robertson, chairman of the British Olympic Association and Chelsea FC Foundation trustee.
Students were able to hear first hand about his involvement in the planning and delivery of the 2012 London Olympic Games, the coaches and athletes who have inspired him and advice on how to be successful within the sports industry.
Speaking about the event, he said: ‘The day was really enjoyable and the students asked some really insightful and often challenging questions. Days like this are important in giving young people an experience of further education and helping them decide on their university careers. As a trustee of the Foundation, I am delighted to be able to help and wish everyone success with their futures.’
During the afternoon, the students visited the University’s Teddington Lock Sports Campus to participate in a football tournament which was organised and delivered by students from the Chelsea FC Foundation Coaching & Development degree.
Conal Murnin, Chelsea FC Foundation project officer, said: ‘It has been great to connect our colleges and degree programme through this event. The guest speakers have been insightful and engaging and have showcased the variety of career paths and roles available within the football industry. We pride ourselves on being many teams, one club and this is a great example of staff from different departments collaborating to produce a successful event.’
Mike Gilham, subject lead for Football & Performance Analysis at St Mary’s University, added: ‘It was fantastic to see the collaboration on this important event between Chelsea FC Foundation, St Mary’s and partners. Providing young people with an insight into the careers available within the football industry is vital as they make their further education choices. It’s been great to host this event on campus again and we look forward to hosting similar events soon.’
Click for more information on the Chelsea FC Foundation Coaching & Development degree