26 MAY 2020

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Dorking Wanderers have today announced that a deal has been agreed with VLUK to remain their exclusive education partner until 2023. The Dorking Wanderers Football Academy (DWFA) only began in 2017 and now has over 80 students lined up for the new academic year. The students initially study for two years on a Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development (equivalent to three A-Levels) and then have the opportunity to continue their education for a further three years at levels 4, 5 & 6 with the Higher National Certificate, Diploma and Degree qualifications in Sports Coaching & Development.


Following their education many DWFA students have progressed on to University. The most popular undergraduate courses are in Sports Science, Sports Development, PE Teaching and Sports Psychology. Students have also used their qualification to gain entry on to Business and Management programmes. Other popular exit routes due to the opportunities made available at DWFA have been on to American Universities on football scholarships, employment and into semi-professional football.


As well as being one of the largest Academies in the South East, the academic programme has seen a success rate of over 95%, setting industry leading standards.  The Academy’s Founder & Director Jordan Clark commented: "Our Academy is designed to aid and support those players/students wishing to continue pursuing a career in sport, with a programme of structured training and developmental sessions, underpinned by our belief in the growth mindset we have been able to deliver a unique programme.


Clark continued: “Our close working relationship with local schools and businesses has opened up numerous working opportunities for our students, such as teaching and coaching in the local community and organising charitable sporting events. This has allowed them to gain valuable experience of working with a variety of different members of the local community. None of this would have been possible without the strong partnership with Virtual Learning UK (VLUK). Our working relationship with VLUK over the last three years has been an enlightening experience. VLUK have enabled our sports programme to grow in many ways, most prevalently through their excellent tutoring and support, and I am very pleased to be working with them moving forward".


Dorking Wanderers Director Kris Lea added: “As a club we are extremely proud of our Academy, both in terms of results and infrastructure. VLUK have been pivotal to this success, providing ongoing support and resources that have been invaluable for both our students and staff. I would highly recommend VLUK for any football club who is looking to introduce an Academy programme and is therefore seeking a well-established and trusted educational partner”.


The club has worked closely with VLUK’s Partnership Director, Mike Morris, to ensure that both parties can finalise an agreement that secures the short and mid–term future. Morris commented: "VLUK and Dorking forged a strong relationship from the very beginning, working together to put the learner at the heart of the education and performance experience. Dorking are a shining example of how VLUK successfully works with partners, with the club providing strong work experience pathways and playing opportunities, making our partnership unique. Working together, VLUK and Dorking see students achieve aspirational target grades or better each year with 95% of students attaining their desired exit route."


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Images supplied by Steve O'Sullivan:

Ownership: Dorking Wanderers FC (Co. No 08964370)   By way of Shareholding Mr. M. White has significant interest in the Club

The educational curriculum and qualifications are delivered by Virtual Learning UK, who provide and employ all teaching staff and work

in partnership with