Football & Education Programme - Downham Market | Norwich City Community Sports Foundation
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Opportunity for Year 11/12s to continue their education through football

The Football and Education programme aims to provide aspirational and talented footballers within Norfolk and surrounding areas the opportunity to continue their football development.

Based at Downham Market Academy, students will have access to fantastic facilities as well as a range of support from our dedicated and expert school staff and further support from the Community Sports Foundation coaching team.

A vibrant school setting combined with an excellent football provision ensures students have everything in place to best prepare them for both their academic performance and their football development.

Education Provider

Link to

Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Sports and Physical Activity

This course is a vocational sporting course that upon completion gives learners the equivalent to 3 A-Level qualifications.

Studying this course, learners will complete seventeen different units. Thirteen of these units are internally assessed by completing a range of both practical and written assessments. The internally assessed units studied are:

Unit 2 Sports Coaching & Activity Leadership

Unit 5 Performance Analysis

Unit 6 Group Exercise to Music

Unit 7 Improving Fitness for Sport and Physical Activity

Unit 8 Organisation of Sports Events

Unit 11 Physical Activity for Specific Groups

Unit 12 Nutrition and Diet for Sport and Exercise

Unit 13 Health and Fitness Testing

Unit 14 Working in Active Leisure Facilities

Unit 17 Sports Injuries and Rehabilitation

Unit 18 Practical Skills in Sport

Unit 19 Sports and Exercise Psychology

Unit 20 Sports and Exercise Sociology

On top of this, learners will also sit four externally assessed units across the two-year programme, these are:

Unit 1 Body Systems and the Affects of Physical Activity

Unit 3 Sports Organisation and Development

Unit 4 Working Safely in Sport

Unit 21 The Business of Sport

Whilst studying at Athena students are able to take part in a comprehensive football programme. Students will receive multiple, weekly timetabled training sessions from qualified academy coaching staff. There is also the opportunity to be selected and represent Norwich City Football club in the Community and Education Football Alliance League, whereby fixtures take place on Wednesday afternoons against similar programmes from professional football clubs such as Chelsea, Watford, Fulham and Ipswich.

In representing Norwich City Football club on this programme students will also have the chance to further explore elite footballing environments such as The Nest based in Norwich and facilities further afield including St Georges Park, the National Football Museum and the Etihad stadium.

The Football Education Programme offers technical and tactical progressions for all footballers involved. The great depth of knowledge and experiences of the coaches provides the players with a strong foundation to develop further in their sporting careers.

We are really proud of the volume of extra and super-curricular opportunities both inside Athena and beyond. Students regularly take up sports leadership roles in the Physical Education department by helping in lessons, extra-curricular clubs and inter-house competitions. Furthermore, trips such as St George’s Park, Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have been highlights on the calendar this last year.

All of our wider opportunities are tailored towards giving our students the best experience possible whilst enhancing their skill set to prepare them for their next steps.

As you can see from the wide range of units studied on this course, there is a diverse skill-set acquired that can lead onto a variety of different post-18 destinations.

Typical pathways from this course include higher education courses such as:

  • Sports Science
  • Sports Coaching
  • Physical Education
  • Physiotherapy
  • Personal Training
  • Physical Activity Instructors
  • Nutritionist
  • Football Studies
  • Business for Sport

On top of these, there is also potential destinations through employment and apprenticeships in the following areas:

  • Coaching
  • Leisure
  • Gym/fitness instructor
  • Performance analyst

"I really enjoyed the education. Linking everything to football made each lesson fun and enabled me to achieve well above my target grade."


Former student