Foundation launches new Women's Football College Academy

An exciting new association between the Chelsea Foundation and West London College began at Stamford Bridge with the launch of the Chelsea FC Foundation Women’s Football College Academy.

Beginning in September 2017, the new Academy will combine full-time football training with vocational qualifications for female students aged 16 to 18, providing a professional environment for them to reach their full potential while working towards a nationally recognised academic qualification.

At the launch were senior members of the Foundation and Hammersmith & Fulham Council, showing the strong levels of support for this new partnership within the West London city region. Pictured above are WLC staff and students, including (middle three, left to right) Janet Gardner, principal, Garry Phillips, CEO, and Tony Alderman, chair of governors.

With women’s football one of the fastest growing participation sports in England, the Academy will give young women the opportunity to pursue their footballing dreams while getting a wider understanding of sport and exercise science, and the great career opportunities the industry offers.

Gareth Davies, senior London football development officer for the Foundation, said: ‘This new programme marks the first women’s academy for Chelsea in London. It will be absolutely fantastic to have this programme right in the heart of west London near Stamford Bridge.’

For Level 3 Sport & Exercise Science student and football player Leah Fearon, the trip to Stamford Bridge for the launch was truly inspirational.

‘I’ve always loved sport, especially football,’ she said. ‘West London College is great, and I love how close my class is and how we all support each other. The students and I had been asking for a women’s football team so I’m really looking forward to training with a great group of ladies next year.’

Christian DePellette - L3 Extended Diploma Sport Year 2 & Men's Football Academy, Leah Feron and Lois Harris - L3 Extended Diploma Sport & Exercise Science (& Women's Academy next year)

Janet Gardner, principal and West London College, added: ‘We are delighted to be working with the Chelsea FC Foundation on this exciting programme. It is great to recognise the talent of women in sport and provide innovative opportunities across London.’

Councillor Sue Fennimore, deputy leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council said: ‘The council is passionate about female inclusion, and this is a fantastic opportunity to raise the aspirations of young women in education and sport.’

Young women wishing to apply for an Academy trial should click here to register, with the first trial coming up on Saturday 1 July 2017.

Trial dates:

Battersea Park All Weather Sports Ground

South Carriage Drive, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ

Saturday 1 July 3pm - 5pm

Wednesday 19 July 6pm - 8pm

Thursday 10 August 3.45pm - 5pm