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University renews partnership with FA to run Women’s High-Performance Football Centre

University of Gloucestershire has renewed its successful partnership with the Football Association to operate a national Women’s High-Performance Football Centre (WHPFC) to promote and inspire player development, amid the increasing popularity of the women’s game.

The WHPFC at the University’s Oxstalls Campus was set up in collaboration with the FA in January 2018 to provide an educational and community-based setting to recruit and develop coaches in women’s and girls’ football, now one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

The WHPFC enables talented players from across the women’s football pyramid – many inspired by the success of the England Lionesses at last year’s World Cup – to access coaching, sports science, sports medicine and scholarship opportunities in an academic and community environment. 

The WHPFC provides a range of student placement opportunities in areas such as strength and conditioning, sport therapy, performance analysis, marketing, media and business management.  

The University, which offers a women’s football scholarship, has renewed its partnership with the FA to continue operating its WHPFC – one of 10 national centres – until June 2025.

Matthew Tansley, Director of Sport and Physical Wellbeing at the University, said: “We’re proud to have been working closely with the FA on this important project for several years and we’re delighted that women’s football is now one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

“We’re pleased that the programme based around our Women’s High-Performance Football Centre is creating many excellent opportunities for coaches and the wider workforce to take their next steps in women’s football.

“It is a fantastic initiative which is producing an inclusive, high-quality workforce for the future of the women’s game, engaging the local community and ensuring our students can develop themselves personally and professionally through the placement opportunities available.”

Successful partnerships with clubs within female sport

The University’s extended partnership with the FA has strengthened its successful and growing relationships with national and regional organisations and clubs within female sport.

The University recently joined forces with elite women’s cricket team Western Storm in an exciting new partnership that will enhance student placement opportunities and academic research, and deliver improved player performance and development.

The University is collaborating closely with the Bristol Bears Women rugby union team to provide student placements and in activities to improve player performance.

Karen Carney MBE, a University alumna, pioneering former international footballer and TV pundit, and Kylie Grimes MBE, a gold medal-winning Paralympian, were recipients of honorary awards at the University’s 2023 Graduation Ceremony.