York City FC, York St John University form new sports-oriented partnership
York St John University had recently struck a deal to become York City Football Club’s academic partner to provide its advanced facilities for the club while allowing its students to gain meaningful hands-on experiences with the club.
The partnership will expand the existing relationship between the two organisations. While providing sporting facilities for the club’s usage, York St John students will be given the chance to work with actual football players in areas such as periodic fitness tests and performance analysis, sports science, and physiotherapy support.
This partnership proves to be timely after a particularly difficult period for York City’s football academy which has been struggling to rebuild itself since the club exited the Football League.
The York City Academy currently boasts National League Academy status along with UEFA A or B coaches at all age groups. Securing the partnership and support from York St John University is a testament to the club’s progress.
The football academy has seen a myriad of success from its players including Ben Godfrey who now plays Premier League football at Norwich City, Ryan Edmondson who plays for Leeds United, and current Minstermen Nathan Dyer and Ryan Whitley.
“We are passionate about sport and its scope as a vehicle for positive social change, so working with York City Football Club is a perfect fit for us. It cements the University’s commitment to the economic, educational and cultural life of our city and the region. As a major provider of sporting facilities in the city, we are proud to support the next generation of players,” said York St John University Chief Operating Officer Rob Hickey.
This partnership will foster many new collaborative opportunities and will provide perks for York St John University students in the form of discounted York City match tickets.
The university, along with its sports subsidiary, Yorkshire Academy of Sport, will be heavily involved across the operations of York City’s football club and academy.
The Yorkshire Academy of Sport specialises in providing physical development, sports performance and injury support. The academy is equipped with an expert team of practitioners who are based at the Haxby Road Sports Park, with many of their services portable to meet the environmental needs of partner organisations.
“Establishing formal links with the football club is a sign of the progress we are making as an institution, particularly through the Yorkshire Academy of Sport. We are keen to offer support, expertise and resources to our community partners whilst integrating students in real-world scenarios to help boost their future employability opportunities,” said Yorkshire Academy of Sport coordinator Jamie Salter.
“The proximity of the University to the football club provides the ideal opportunity for sharing practice and experience and we hope that this is the start of bigger things.”
“Having a close relationship with a high-quality university is a magic combination – both our institutions play a major role within the city. York St John University is essential in driving aspects of the economy and community – alongside the partnership we’re proud to actively encourage increases in participation rates in higher education,” added York City Football Club manager Chris Pegg.
“There is a huge sense of pride amongst the Academy lads knowing that they’re being supported by such a fantastic organisation. We have an excellent youth setup here and this partnership will only improve the support we can provide to the aspiring young footballers in our ranks,” said York City Football Club Head of Youth Development Dan Wilson.
“It’s fantastic that the Club can also support York St John students as they gain experience within a professional environment. Last season, Robbie Hurworth joined us as a sports science and physiotherapy intern and now works for the club as academy physiotherapist four days a week. As well as providing a pathway for young players it’s great that this partnership allows us to support people like Robbie who want to progress into a career in the sport.”