Staffordshire University scores new partnership with Staffordshire FA

Staffordshire University has announced an exciting new partnership with Staffordshire Football Association

Dr Alex Blackett and Gareth Thomas

Dr Alex Blackett, Head of Sport & Science at Staffordshire University, and Gareth Thomas, Commercial & Partnerships Lead at Staffordshire FA.

We want to support Staffordshire FA to engage everyone in the county in football, whether as a player, coach, referee or club member.

Dr Alex Blackett, Head of Sport & Science at Staffordshire University

The collaboration will see the two organisations work together to enhance local grassroots football across Staffordshire, and support the recruitment and enrichment of students at Staffordshire University.

The Association and University have enjoyed a long-standing informal relationship over many years and the development of this formal partnership – with Staffordshire University becoming the Headline Partner of Staffordshire FA – will see the two organisations working together on mutually beneficial strategic objectives.

Staffordshire FA has a network of over 40,000 people involved in grassroots football across the county – made up of players, coaches, match officials, and volunteers. The collaborative work will have a strong focus on enhancing the grassroots football workforce and providing opportunities for students to gain hands on experience.

Staff and students will also have the chance to win tickets to top football games at Wembley Stadium.

Dr Alex Blackett, Head of Sport & Science at Staffordshire University, said: “We want to support Staffordshire FA to engage everyone in the county in football, whether as a player, coach, referee or club member.

“Through the partnership we want to be actively involved in enhancing CPD, trialling new technologies and ways of learning not just with our current and future students, but also everyone affiliated to football in Staffordshire.

“In doing so, we want to be inclusive in our approach to make the game accessible for everyone and we’re incredibly pleased to be partnering with a like-minded and aspirational organisation such as Staffordshire FA.”

As part of the partnership, Staffordshire University will become the headline partner for four of the Staffordshire FA Youth County Cup Competitions – the U15’s, U16’s, U17/18’s, and Midweek Floodlit. The first of these finals took place on the evening of Tuesday 19 March 2024, which was an ideal opportunity for Staffordshire FA to launch the partnership, with Staffordshire University branding in display across the cup final venue, at Bilston Town FC.

Gareth Thomas, Commercial & Partnerships Lead at Staffordshire FA: “We are delighted to have developed this partnership with Staffordshire University, which has the potential to positively impact on so many different areas, for both Staffordshire FA and the University. From the initial conversations we had to formalising the partnership, it was very apparent just how many different areas of work we could potentially collaborate on, and in doing so delivering some key objectives for both organisations.

“Staffordshire FA and Staffordshire University are both embedded in the heart of communities across the County, both very proud of all things Staffordshire and the positive impacts we can respectively make to the lives of people living and studying in Staffordshire. The County FA’s mission to provide a safe and inclusive environment where everyone can achieve their football aspirations, is underpinned by an innovative workforce and an ambitious new strategy on the horizon, and this partnership with Staffordshire University will really assist the Association in bringing that new strategy to life. In doing so we’re very much looking forward to supporting the University with the delivery of their own objectives too, particularly around the recruitment and enrichment of students.”

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