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Girls Football & Education Development Programme

In light of the latest government advice on COVID-19, we have suspended delivery of all programmes involving direct social contact until further notice.

We are fully aware of how important Foundation programmes are to the health and wellbeing of participants – where possible, we shall endeavour to maintain contact with participants to offer support and advice during this difficult time.

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Girls Football & Education Development Programme

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has teamed up with Spurs Ladies to deliver a full-time Football & Education development programme for the next generation of talented sports professionals in partnership with Barnet & Southgate College.

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies held an exclusive presentation on Wednesday 31 January at their world-class training facility to showcase a Girls Football & Development Programme in partnership with Barnet & Southgate College, which preceded an invitation to watch a Spurs Ladies training session, writes Khalid Karimullah.

The programme aims to offer students a platform where they can develop not only as full-time student-athletes but also as people.

And Juan Amoros, Tottenham Hotspur Ladies’ First Team Head Coach says the programme is imperative for the girls, in that the aim is to create opportunities which will have long-lasting results.

“The partnership with the college and the development programmes are key,” he said. “They’ll be able to train and study full time with us and be part of the club.

“It’s also part of the job that we want to do with the community in terms of giving young women an opportunity to develop. There are those who develop through the football pathway, but there are others who develop in a professional way and become coaches through the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, or through grassroots clubs.

“Through Spurs Ladies, they end up having a professional life in other environments - they access university, go to America through a scholarship - so there’s a range of activities and opportunities that we give to these young women which we’re really proud of.

“On top of that the development of football players within it and the chance to have specific physical programmes, injury prevention and nutrition for their lifestyle. We really push and believe that this programme is the future of not only this club but also for women’s football in England probably.”

Amoros was mindful to showcase the talent pathway and progression which numerous Spurs Ladies have made with Sophie Mclean, Lucia Leon, Ryah Vyse, Bianca Baptiste and Renee Hector in attendance on the night.

“What we want to show to potential students and participants at the Barnet Southgate College programme is hopefully, that they can see themselves reflected in these elite players who have made it to the first team through various routes and that it’s actually doable,” he finished.

James Edgerley, Head of Sports Development at Barnet & Southgate College added the biggest takeaway he was hoping for is the girls leave with an appreciation that the programme is more than just for the athlete.

“The Spurs Ladies link is paramount because it gives a realistic pathway for the girls to aspire to,” he said. “Some of the girls have come from our programme into the first team and development squads, so from a college point of view, it’s critical. This would effectively be their (Spurs Ladies) youth team, so it’s making sure they can get increased contact time and control over their potential future players.

“As Juan alluded to, they can coach them in their way, in their philosophies but also make sure those girls are well rounded and getting their education or vocational qualifications towards a holistic future, outside and inside of football.”

The programme will be led by its mentality of putting the person first, learner second then an athlete, which Edgerley says holds more weight for their personal development.

“All three aspects are intercritical at a challenging age bracket; they’re growing up and learning so as coaches, teachers and support staff, we all try and focus on supporting the students as people. They’re with the college to try and get a qualification and become employable in the future and then from the athlete side of things, we want them to be as successful as possible.

“Looking at training, there’s Sophie, Ryah, Nellz (Ronnell Humes), Kelly Smith, Lucia, these are all fantastic young women as well as footballers,” he continued. “Hopefully they’ll (the students) take some inspiration and it shows what can be achieved. Spurs Ladies has grown and accelerated hugely in the last six or seven years and they’re part of that journey to where they’re going to be in the future - hopefully, more come through our programme and cement themselves in the first team.”