Coleg y Cymoedd recognised for support of young athletes with national accreditation

Written by on 30th September 2022

A college in South Wales has become the first in Wales to receive a national sporting accreditation that recognises organisations that go above and beyond in their efforts to support student athletes.

Coleg y Cymoedd has been awarded the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) dual career accreditation which is given to institutions that demonstrate a commitment to supporting young sportspeople to follow a dual career route – allowing them to reach their potential in education while achieving success in their sport. The college joins Swansea and Cardiff Metropolitan universities as one of only three Welsh higher education institutions with this status.

To mark its achievement, the college hosted a launch event at its Nantgarw campus which welcomed student athletes and their parents as well as guests from partner sports and education organisations to hear about the scheme and what it will mean for future learners. The evening included a talk from special guest Helen Phillips MBE, Non-Executive Chair of Commonwealth Games Wales.

Coleg y Cymoedd Vice Princiapl Andy Johns with Helen Phillips MBE

Alun Davies, Dual Career Lifestyle adviser at Coleg y Cymoedd said:

“The TASS accreditation is a prestigious recognition for the college and we are so proud to see that the strategies we have implemented to support our student athletes are being celebrated.

“We pride ourselves on being a place where learners’ academic and sporting goals are both fully supported, enabling them to gain qualifications alongside their sports pursuits without compromising either.

“Becoming a TASS dual career accredited site will help place Coleg y Cymoedd on the competitive path with other sporting institutes in Wales and across the border. The accreditation will also enable us to continue building connections with local sporting institutions and attract a greater number of talented athletes to the college in the future.”

Following a rigorous assessment process, Coleg y Cymoedd was awarded the accreditation in acknowledgement of the various initiatives and extra support it provides to athletes studying at its campuses. Its flexible academic policies include arranging catch up sessions with teaching staff when learners’ sports clash with lessons, access to online notes and additional resources, and even rescheduling deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances.

31 talented student athletes will be selected to take part in the TASS programme at Coleg y Cymoedd, covering a diverse range of sports including but not limited to rugby, fencing, karate, gymnastics, football, netball, athletics, swimming, gymnastics, and taekwondo.

Among these learners are Welsh junior world champions who have represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games and GB Performance Squads. Each of them will receive one-one academic and lifestyle support from a qualified practitioner, with tailored plans based on their individual needs, which will depend on the nature of their sport.

They will also have access to top training facilities and advice around areas like nutrition and strength and conditioning, as well as personal development workshops focused on developing their skills and resilience.

Guy Taylor, TASS National Director, said

“TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme is an important measure to ensure that talented athletes are allowed the flexibility to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded life. Through the programme, learners acquire skills and formal qualifications that are needed to help them find alternative careers, either alongside their sporting activities or once their sporting days are over.

“It’s important to us to recognise those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education. We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to Coleg y Cymoedd in recognition of the great policies they have in place to offer an effective and lasting dual career structure within the college.”

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