The directors of a company behind the first ever Sports Diploma course in Horncastle have hailed it as a ‘tremendous success.’
Ollie Johnson and Steve Brown, directors of JB Sports Coaching, launched their new venture this year.
A full ‘cohort’ of 12 students have signed up and hope to achieve a BTEC Level Three Extended Diploma in Sport.
Although the course - based at Horncastle Town Football Club - has only been running for a month, Mr Johnson and Mr Brown say they are looking to expand next year by increasing the number of student places.
Mr Johnson said: “It is early days, but we are delighted with the way things are going.
“When any new venture is launched, people are cautious, but now parents and teenagers can see what we are doing and know it’s something really worthwhile.”
Mr Johnson and Mr Brown launched the course after going through the college process themselves.
Mr Johnson added: “We had to travel to Lincoln every day so we know what it was like standing at seven in the morning waiting for a bus .
“The cost of bus travel now is ridiculous - Horncastle to Lincoln and back every day is like having a mortgage.
“We decided to do something about it and provide something locally.
“Because it is the first year, we went for a maximum of 12 students and the places were filled pretty quickly.
“Next year, we’re looking at more places. We plan to get out into local schools and attend careers’ evenings and things like that.
“So far, it has been a tremendous success and we are confident there is the demand locally.”
The course is the equivalent to three A-Levels and features:
• High quality teaching and learning
• Weekly work experience with JB Sports coaches
• Two industry specific qualifications.
Successful students could go on to university, full-time employment in the sports and leisure industry or an apprenticeship wi h JB Sports.
Students have already used facilities at a number of local sporting clubs and more are in the pipeline.
They have also gained first hand experience of coaching in some of the primary schools where JB provide specialist PE lessons.
Student Will Chamberlain (16), a former pupil at Banovallum School, said he was really enjoying the course.
He added: “At first, I was thinking of biology in the Sixth Form but I’ve always wanted to do something sport-based and when I heard about this I knew it was perfect for me. It’s great.”