Bournemouth University’s (BU’s) partnership with Premier League club AFC Bournemouth (AFCB) is to be extended with a new agreement covering the next three academic years and football seasons.
The new agreement builds on the existing strong links already in place between two of Dorset’s leading organisations and includes a new commitment to the development of girls’ football in Dorset, with BU becoming the main partner of all AFC Bournemouth girls’ teams.
BU will be providing educational opportunities to the teams alongside the football development that takes place for the four teams covering the Under 10, Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16 age groups.
BU will also become a Junior Cherries Partner for the new season and invite members of this popular club for AFC Bournemouth’s younger fans to attend special events at the university with an educational aspect, such as the CSI/Forensic sessions that have taken place across the past 2 years.
Existing benefits from the partnership will continue for the 2017/18 academic year and football season, including joint community projects, placement and work opportunities - as well as BU having exposure to a global audience via the international reach of the Premier League, raising the profile of the opportunities Bournemouth offers as a place to study and work to both a national and international audience.
Alongside this, the BU men’s and ladies’ teams will continue to benefit from professional coaching from the AFCB Community Trust, while BU students will again have the chance to be matchday ambassadors, and BU journalism students will have the chance to work with the media operation at the Club, providing them with a great range of development opportunities.
The popular BU Big Match will again take place around one Premier League home match, celebrating student and staff talent with the BU Big Band playing outside the ground before the match and a range of events taking place in the build-up to the game highlighting the educational opportunities that BU offers in the region.
Commenting on the new agreement Jim Andrews, BU’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are very proud of our partnership with AFC Bournemouth and the global profile the club’s success has brought to our great location as a place to study and work.
“As the club’s Higher Education Partner, I am delighted that we are extending our partnership with this new agreement and that we will have a focus on developing future talent with our partnership of all AFC Bournemouth’s girls’ teams and support for the Junior Cherries.
“The partnership provides a range of benefits to students and staff alongside this opportunity to raise educational opportunities to the next generation in Dorset and I look forward to another inspiring season of partnership on and off the field.”
Rob Mitchell, AFC Bournemouth Commercial Director, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Bournemouth University for the new season and academic year. The university’s new support for girls’ football and the Junior Cherries will bring mutual benefits and raise awareness of educational opportunities for future generations.”
To mark the new partnership and the focus on girls’ football development BU students Chloe Tape and Chloe Debaes, who are both involved in coaching work for the girls’ teams at AFCB, joined Jim Andrews and Rob Mitchell at the Vitality Stadium.
Chloe Tape studied Sport Psychology and Coaching Sciences at BU and is coach for AFC Bournemouth U12s girls’ team. Chloe Debaes studied Sport Development and Coaching Sciences and is assistant coach for AFC Bournemouth U16s girls’ team.