Sunderland College has been awarded TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) accreditation, which recognises its commitment to ensure talented student athletes can combine academic excellence with elite performance sport.

The Sport England backed TASS Dual Career Accreditation is a partnership between talented athletes, educational institutions and national governing bodies of sport. It aims to allow young athletes across England to reach their potential in education alongside achieving success in their sport.

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

“We are delighted to be TASS accredited and to support talented athletes to compete at the highest level, as well as gaining recognised qualifications to prepare them for their chosen careers.

“Playing sport at a high level can often create a barrier to academic success, however, our sporting hubs enable 16 to 18 year old student athletes to achieve their academic goals, sporting success and life potential.”

He continued:

“All TASS athletes at Sunderland College will benefit from a range of established support services including bespoke strength and conditioning workshops from our on-site Martin Nugent Elite Performance Centre, plus nutrition, physiotherapy, psychology and lifestyle support to bring the best out of the country’s most exciting talent.”

As a Dual Career Accredited Site, Sunderland College will be an important extension of the network of universities that already partner with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 400 student athletes each year.

While some of the existing services delivered focus solely on developing the young person’s sporting performance, a dual career support structure and academic flexibility policies will be central to the help available to athletes based at an Accredited Site.

A designated Dual Career Coordinator has completed a Talented Athlete Support in Transitions and Education (TASTE) course, to gain the skills required to offer a dual career approach.

Additionally, all Dual Career Accredited Sites are supplied with a toolkit of resources to help provide practical dual career support and bring together all parties who work with the athlete.

For student athletes, the increased academic flexibility may mean they have the opportunity to access online notes or resources, have a choice of assignments, or even reschedule deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances.

Meanwhile for Sunderland College, the recognition of becoming a TASS Dual Career Accredited Site is expected to be beneficial by attracting a greater number of talented athletes and building connections with other local sporting institutions.

TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said:

“We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to colleges and universities across England.

“Dual career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that’s why the Accreditation Scheme is so important for us in recognising those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education too.

“We hope that the academic flexibility policies put into place for the Accreditation will begin to develop an effective and lasting dual career structure within each institution.”
For more information contact sport@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk or ring 0191 511 6000.

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