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Crusaders FC and Northern Regional College Connect

Thirty students from Northern Regional College’s ‘College Connect’ programme spent a day at Crusaders Football Club as part of their ‘Soccer Brains’ initiative where they had a chance to meet the club’s football heroes and sharpen up their numeracy skills.  

‘College Connect’ applies active learning techniques, often outside the classroom, allowing students to engage with their education and acquire new skills and qualifications in a new and fun way. 

Professor Terri Scott, Principal and Chief Executive of Northern Regional College explained more: “Soccer Brains is just one example of the many different approaches we have adopted to help our ‘College Connect’ students develop their numeracy and other key employability skills. 

“This is a fantastic initiative and I really admire our staff at the College who continue to innovate and improve their teaching strategy, to impact our students as positively as possible. ‘College Connect’ gives students access to different vocational areas and better understanding of the kind of opportunities available, as well as what is required to enter employment.” 

Professor Scott continued: “We would like to extend our thanks to Crusaders for leading the sessions with our students for the day. Soccer is a language that everyone understands and there are skills that footballers need – such as teamwork – which are applicable in all sorts of work-based situations.” 

Stephen Baxter, Manager of Crusaders Football Club said: “We are excited about the launch of our new education programme, Soccer Brains. Like clubs in England, Crusaders hopes to lead the way in Northern Ireland working closely with schools and colleges in the community to help students with their numeracy and literacy skills. Through the use of football, students will have an opportunity to challenge themselves and learn in a fun and exciting environment.” 

Northern Regional College’s College Connect programme includes work experience and wrap-around mentoring support. It is designed for young people who may have limited or no qualifications and, as a consequence, will struggle to find full-time employment.  The programme, which is a first for further education College’s in Northern Ireland, also features awareness and mindfulness sessions, all of which are designed to develop confidence and support self-esteem. 

Recruitment to Northern Regional College’s 2020 College Connect programme, which is offered at both the Newtownabbey and Ballymena campuses is now underway. For information on ‘College Connect’ please visit www.nrc.ac.uk.