Ayrshire pupils get a taste of life as a professional footballer

The NPA sports and fitness group.
The NPA sports and fitness group.

Ayrshire College is giving secondary school pupils who enrol on their specialist football course a taste of what it’s like to be a professional footballer.

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Sports and Fitness will be delivered twice a week by fully qualified football coaches at Ayrshire College, in partnership with Ayr United Football Academy and Kilmarnock Football Club.

Pupils with an interest in football will enjoy practical sessions in playing and coaching, as the NPA course is designed to assess a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas.

NPA courses are delivered to secondary school pupils alongside their chosen subjects at school.

Ashleigh Brown, School/College Partnership Officer at Ayrshire College, said: “The NPA courses are offered to give secondary school pupils a wider selection of vocational subjects. We want to offer courses that complement school subjects, so that they can learn new skills.”

One of the coaches who will be delivering the course is 19-year-old Ross Black, who studied the HND Sports Coaching and Developing course at Ayrshire College last year. Ross is a youth and community coach at Kilmarnock Football Club who coaches their Under-11 team.

He’s looking forwarding to welcoming the pupils to the football course at the College.

Ross said: “I think it’s massive for football clubs of this size to get involved in the community. Kilmarnock FC is a huge club with a fantastic history, and they do so many things for so many different types of people. On a personal level I enjoy working with young footballers as they’re a blank canvas with no bad habits. To see footballers develop themselves is very rewarding.”

Ayrshire College works regularly in partnership with Kilmarnock Football Club and another former student who is now working with the club is Kirsty Munro.

Kirsty, who is Head of Early Year Programmes and Youth and Community Administrator at the Kilmarnock Community Sports Trust, said: “We have a link with the College where we are able to give students the opportunity to volunteer at our sessions, so I am able to help them in a coaching environment.

“There are a number of students who we currently have volunteering at our Football Centre and Mini Kickers sessions.”