Pulman, South Shields FC and the University of Sunderland team-up to give students a chance to study for a degree while also undergoing expert football training. Pulman Group, the North East’s family-run Volkswagen, Škoda, SEAT and CUPRA dealer, has been announced as sponsor of the South Shields FC International Academy. Pulman, who also sponsor the front of the South Shields FC home and away shirts, has
teamed-up with the club and the University of Sunderland to give aspiring footballers from around the world the chance to develop their footballing skills while also studying for a degree.
The South Shields FC International Academy programme provides students with the opportunity to receive a professional, elite academy coaching programme with the club while undertaking a three-year degree or post-graduate course at the University. Training largely consists of on-pitch sessions as well as access to professionally-led strength and conditioning sessions to supplement training.
The University of Sunderland courses largely centre around sport science, business management and sports journalism.
The initial cohort of students, who mainly come from the USA, arrived in September and it is anticipated that further students will arrive in January. Some will be travelling to the North East from Asia, the Middle East and South America.
“The course is something that we’ve been looking to develop for a number of years,” said the University of Sunderland’s International Team Leader, Lucie Allen. “We’re continuously looking to develop our portfolio of programmes and partnerships to help us really stand out in the market we operate in, as well as fulfil our strategic aim of being a professions-facing university. For us it’s a local club and it’s something we’re passionate about in promoting the North East as an education option and we’ve now got this professional football club we can offer as part of the whole package...and because of the Pulman sponsorship we also have the names of Volkswagen and CUPRA to help us.”
International Team Leader
at University of Sunderland
And it’s plainly going down well.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for all of us” said Osman Padilla from El Paso, Texas, and who’s studying at the University of Sunderland for a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
“The South Shields programme is allowing us to grow as players and I think it’s going to open many opportunities for us. I’ve seen us progress as players. This is also the first time
I’ve pulled on a shirt with the name of a big sponsor...it feels good.”
And of course it’s helping South Shields FC because not only are they benefitting from additional support via the Pulman sponsorship, it also means they have the possibility ofattracting some really good players for the future development of the club.
“It’s unbelievable...I’m part of this programme because I can see how exciting it is...how fulfilling it can be for individuals and how impactful it can be for the club as well,” said Adam
Shaw, Head of the South Shields FC International Academy. “It’s a good chance to get the South Shields FC brand known around the world...it’s also recognition of where the club wants to go in terms of its overall vision and progression through the leagues.”
The South Shields Academy Football Team
Head of the International Academy
South Shields FC
The academy sponsorship by Pulman Group, as with the home and away front of shirt sponsorship, will run until the end of the current season, with South Shields FC currently in the battle for promotion to the National League.
“As a family-run business we pride ourselves on how we care for customers and staff, and part of that is helping them prepare for the future,” said Commercial Director Chris Slater. ”The tie-up between South Shields FC and the University of Sunderland is something we’re delighted to be involved with because the ethos behind the International Academy is exactly the same as us here at Pulman Group....caring about people and doing our best to give them a fantastic start in life. The training they’re receiving at South Shields FC and the courses they’re undertaking at the University of Sunderland, gives these students several chances at forging a career....and we’re delighted to help them achieve their goals.”
Interview With Lucie Allen From University of Sunderland
Interview With South Shields Academy Players