Club Doncaster Sports College celebrates its 10th birthday

From humble beginnings to record setting in a decade, the sports college is providing great opportunities for local youth.

Saturday, 6th April 2019, 8:47 am
Updated Saturday, 6th April 2019, 8:54 am
Ben Howe, 18, student.
Ben Howe, 18, student.

Club Doncaster Sports College, based at the Keepmoat Stadium, home of Doncaster Rovers FC and the Doncaster RLFC, has helped hundreds of youngsters in the community kickstart their careers since it opened in 2008.

Its unique curriculum has been designed to give learners the opportunity to develop their employability within sport, health, and fitness.

Ben Howe, 18, student.

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Principal Adi Turnpenny said: “We are a sports college based at the Keepmoat Stadium, we run sports courses for 16-18-year-olds at level two and three.

“We also run degree programmes where you can study for a degree right here at the Keepmoat Stadium.”

The college started very small with just one classroom in the stadium, however, now ten years on it now has 170 students.

Mr Turnpenny added: “We’re having a really positive impact on the young people of Doncaster, we’re helping them into jobs in the sports industry.”

Adi Turnpenny, Principle.

“We’re not necessarily looking for the next Christiano Renaldo. We’re looking for the next PE teachers, physiotherapists, and gym instructors.”

The students go onto a wide variety of careers after their education. Many are employed by the Keepmoat themselves but others venture further afield.

One student is now a lecturer in American university Penn State.

“We’re offering great pathways for the young people of Doncaster,” said Mr Turnpenny.

Chaneice Howson, 18, student.

The nationally recognised qualifications taught at the college have seen pass rates of 99.1 per cent and achievement rates of 92.6 per cent for academic year 17/18.

Impressive statistics include a 14.5 per cent above the national average in BTEC Diploma in Sport and a 9.1 per cent above the national average in BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport.

Founder of the college and current business development manager Jenna Scully said: “I am extremely proud of the college and all that our team has achieved over the last decade.

“From humble beginnings with a small cohort of just 15 learners taught in a spare room at the stadium, it is remarkable to see where we are now with over 170 learners studying in our impressive college facilities at the Keepmoat.

“I’m sure our students and staff would all agree, the college really is a wonderful place to study and to work!”

Ben Howe, aged 18, from Kirksandall, is studying a BTEC level 3 extended diploma in sport and is planning at staying at the college and pursuing a degree alongside his passion for sport.

“The sports college has allowed me to take my rugby to the next level, I was given a chance to play with the Dons and now I've signed a contract with Castleford Tigers,” he said.

“I have a lot to thank the college for, it’s a really friendly environment.”

Chaneice Howson, 18, from Worksop, who is studying a BTEC level 3 extended diploma in sport said: “I’m currently a part of the women’s football team and it’s a great team to be a part of because all of the girls get along really well and we build each other's confidence up.

“Being able to be in this facility in Doncaster has really made me be more aware of what I want to do in the future.

“The college here has helped me pursue what I want to do, and I’m hoping to take the next three years here and do my HE course.”

Stockport County football Szymon Czubik, who studied at the college, said: “My time at Club Doncaster Sport College was amazing.

“ I gained lots of experience and skills during my two-year course.

“The college was professional yet fun, which made making friends easy. I’m still in touch with players and staff members who always helped me out. It’s a brilliant place to study and play. “