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Sporting Club Albion has this week announced a new partnership with Sandwell Academy which will see the organisation support all sixth form sports studies at the Halfords Lane school.
A key element of the partnership will be the commencement of a two-year Sports Performance Programme, which will kick off in September 2012.
As the country's eyes turn to next year's London Olympics, the course will continue the sporting momentum by providing a natural progression for students aged 16 plus at the specialist sports academy.
It will offer an equal focus on academic studies, practical sports coaching and a working insight into the business of sport by utilising The Hawthorns stadium, home to West Bromwich Albion.
With Sporting Club Albion also supporting all other sports studies on the school's sixth form curriculum, gifted and talented students from all over the region will be encouraged to remain in further education and be provided with a platform to pursue higher education.
Sandwell Academy Head Teacher, Simon Topper, said: "The achievements of all students at Sandwell Academy have been outstanding since our opening in September 2006. In particular, our sports students have excelled in their fields of expertise.
"Our partnership with Sporting Club Albion will doubtless secure the very best outcome for young people with talent and an interest in the world of sport."
It is hoped that the apprenticeship-style programme, featuring professional coaching provision from The Albion Foundation, will inspire students with a natural sporting talent to remain in education and further their studies alongside their enjoyment of sport.
But it isn't all football - both male and female students will also have the chance to excel in basketball and cricket.
Jamie Bunch, Sporting Director at The Albion Foundation, explained: "Sporting Club Albion has developed significantly over the last 12 months.
"This exciting and unique partnership with Sandwell Academy meets our desire to establish a full time component to Sporting Club Albion, enabling more contact time with talented players.
"I have no doubt many students will go on to have successful careers in their chosen sports while, at the same time, ensuring they possess credible academic qualifications.
"This partnership, with the support of West Bromwich Dartmouth Cricket Club, showcases the historic sporting infrastructure we share with our neighbours just off Junction One of the M5, providing the Black Country and West Birmingham with a future platform for raising aspirations, increasing their profile and attracting investment."
West Bromwich Albion Chief Executive and Chair of The Albion Foundation, Mark Jenkins, recognises the significance of the alliance. "Giving something back to, and making sport a force for good within, our immediate community has been West Bromwich Albion's ethos for many years and this approach is manifest in the work of The Albion Foundation," he said.
"To increase the Foundation's provision, this partnership with a local, first rate specialist sport and business academy is a natural progression for both establishments that I am convinced will go from strength to strength."
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