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Elite Sports

“A unique programme that allows students the privilege to access specialist coaching that they wouldn’t experience in mainstream provision; underpinned by the development of Character and Excellence in Sport.”

Northampton Academy Elite Sports Programme offers boys and girls with an exceptional talent for football or netball a unique opportunity to develop their ability with a holistic approach, in conjunction with their mainstream curriculum. 

The programme is currently open to students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10. Each athlete has a specially adapted timetable that includes extra training sessions before, during and after their typical school day at specific times of the week.


The 2022/2023 Exclusive Programme Offers Students:

  • Football or netball coaching from highly experienced and qualified external coaches, alongside current staff
  • Individual Player Development Programmes
  • Extra timetabled football or netball training sessions during the school day
  • Strength and conditioning sessions before school
  • A direct pathway to Football Clubs – Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Derby County, Leicester City, Northampton Town and Netball Club - Northants Storm
  • Opportunities to represent Northampton Academy as a squad in County and National competitions

Only students who have secured a place at Northampton Academy for the academic year of 2022/23 can apply.

Application Information

Year 6 students are only eligible to apply for the Elite Sports Programme after they have been offered a place at Northampton Academy.

  • To apply for the Elite Sports Programme, please submit our Online Application Form >>>.
  • Application close on Monday 25th April at 5.00 pm.
  • Successful applicants will be invited to take part in our Elite Sports trials during May.

The Elite Netball programme will be open to girls who have been offered a Year 7 place for September 2022, and the Football Programme will be open to both girls and boys.

This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for our students and is unique among schools within the surrounding area.

If you have any queries please direct them to our Head of Elite Sports, Mr Simon Hollyhead, s.hollyhead@northampton-academy.org

Since October last year, we have been delighted with the continued individual development of our young 85 (football and netball) athletes across all seven squads.

We are equally excited by the growth of our new pathways for our aspiring pupils in Football (Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Derby County, Leicester City & Northampton Town) and Netball (Northants Storm). For example, after Easter - Kelly Washington, the Head Coach for Northants Storm, led the week's training for all year groups. This was a tremendous opportunity to showcase their ability and learn from another top-level coach.

On the court, all four of our Elite Netball teams have excelled in their league programme, with some outstanding individual and team performances. All four groups (Year 7 -10) finished in the top two of their leagues, with the Year 8s crowned league champions. Other highlights have also been the Year 8 and Year 10 girls winning the County Plate events (at KBA) and advancing to the County Cup play-offs.

On the football pitch, our Year 8 and 9 teams have trained very well, and their desire to improve as individual players and people has been a joy to part of, as the fundamental skill of someone is to be an outstanding character. Meanwhile, the Year 7 squad reached the 5th Round of the National Cup, along with the County Cup final (after an incredible semi-final win at NSB). Furthermore, they rounded off the season in style by winning the County League, having won all their games. Notably, the coaches who work with our athletes at Northampton Academy and in their respective representative training squads/matches have been delighted with their character, attitude and intensity.

After 30 weeks of training and competing in 52 matches, the Elite squads' athletes and coaches are now in the Programme's reviewing, recharging and planning phase. This is an integral part of any successful learning loop. A leading Sports Psychologist (Mairi Mulvenna from the University of Northampton) and two high-level national athletes visited. This was to help our students understand how to apply techniques learned to aid their development and, ultimately, their performance.

Plans are also afoot for the 2022-23 Elite Sport Programme, where we are working on some exciting initiatives. The 4-week assessment block across each of the age groups will kick off our Programme in September, and the 50 applicants from the new Year 7 cohort will be joined by our current athletes. The process is robust, and along with the students' technical, physical, social and tactical ability, selection for the programme will be underpinned by mutually agreed criteria of attendance, behaviour and character.

Two special guests joined us during the last term - Premier League Referee André Marriner visited in person, and students enjoyed a virtual session with England Manager Gareth Southgate in October. They both reinforced the importance of Character and how technical talent may get you an opportunity, but the real skill is managing your behaviour and displaying the core values of Respect, Determination and Ambition. We are looking forward to seeing the continued development of all our young players in school and their chosen sport in the New Year.

André Marriner Visit - news article here >>>

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The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
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