Sunderland College is celebrating a hat trick of sporting achievements with an impressive national accolade and double success for their Sport Development Centre, which further demonstrates the College’s commitment to sporting excellence.

Renowned for its sporting success, the College has been announced as an Association of Colleges (AoC) football Super Hub, in partnership with the FA.

The College will join an elite network of only 22 football Super Hub colleges nationally that will demonstrate excellence and innovation within football and futsal in the further education sector.

Over the next two academic years, these high performing colleges will showcase their strengths, act as a football development advisory group, be at the forefront of new FA products and initiatives, and receive additional funding to further support the development of the game.

John Rushworth, Faculty Director for Sport, Health and Wellbeing at Sunderland College, said:

“We are delighted to have been selected as a college football Super Hub and look forward to working within this high profile network. Our students and staff will benefit from the exceptional opportunities that this status brings as we strive for continuous improvement.

“We are exceptionally proud of our men and women’s Football Development Centres at Sunderland College and our Super Hub status further supports our football and academic ambitions for our student athletes.”

Marcus Kingwell, AoC Sport Managing Director, added:

“AoC Sport is delighted that 22 colleges have been successful in becoming football Super Hubs.

“We were overwhelmed by the responses from members and we look forward to working with them on this very exciting opportunity to develop the FE sector’s football and futsal offers. Students and staff will greatly benefit from the excellent opportunities the network will bring.”

Meanwhile, the women’s football team at Sunderland College has been crowned North East Colleges Champions in the futsal league.

They were unbeaten in all of their qualifying games and defeated New College Durham in the final 4-1. 16 year old Sunderland College student Abigail Phipps from Washington, who scored a hat trick in the final, said:

“The futsal league allowed us to continue to perform and develop our skills and fitness throughout the winter period.  The team all performed extremely well over the season and to score a hat trick in the final was a great achievement for me personally.   This has given me a massive confidence boost to take my newfound skills out onto the football pitch.”

The futsal league was introduced by Durham FA and the North East College League to minimise disruption to the women’s league in winter months and provide an opportunity to develop new skills.

Continuing the winning streak, the men’s first team at Sunderland College has been celebrating gaining the North East College Premiership League champions title, following their thrilling 4-0 win against Gateshead College.

Martin Scott, Director of Improtech Soccer, said:

“Focused, driven, work ethic and team spirit are the key areas that have helped build this amazing group of players. I am delighted with the progression and resilience of this group of footballers. Every player in the squad has played their part and the staff have worked tirelessly to provide a quality learning environment that creates sporting excellence.” 

The College’s successful men’s and women’s Football Development Centres, in association with Improtech Soccer, enables talented players to combine full-time studies with elite coaching and competitive play.

For more information about sports courses and the Sport Development Centres at Sunderland College, email sport@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk, ring 0191 511 6000 or check the website for dates and times of trials and open events.