Hearts and Hibs youngsters sign up for Edinburgh Napier University course

Hearts and Hibs have both announced a tie-up with Edinburgh Napier University that will benefit development playersHearts and Hibs have both announced a tie-up with Edinburgh Napier University that will benefit development players
Hearts and Hibs have both announced a tie-up with Edinburgh Napier University that will benefit development players
Programme has been set up to allow players to combine studies with football

Hearts and Hibs have teamed up with Edinburgh Napier University to give development squad players a chance to combine traditional studying with their football commitments.

A new part-time course has been specially created for Capital youngsters and will consist of campus-based workshops and online learning and will allow students to develop their knowledge of elite sport in a business context.

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As well as supporting the players’ integration into the world of professional football, it will also allow them to hone key academic and business-related skills.

The programme is made up of six modules completed over two years to Certificate of Higher Education standard, with an option to continue studying on a part-time basis for two to four additional years with the chance of graduating with a BA in Business and Enterprise in Sport degree at the end of it.

The course will begin this month, and will also involve players from Celtic and Rangers. Topics covered will include football in the digital age, the athlete in sport, and psychology.

Hibs Sporting Director Graeme Mathie said: “It’s a fantastic position for us as a club to be able to deliver not only a high-quality football education but now – through this partnership with Napier University – a high-quality educational programme for our players.

“It is very much aligned to our strategic aim of being a ‘learner’s club’ and I have no doubt our players will benefit from the programme.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to my colleagues Sean McPartlin and Steve Curnyn, who have been in discussions with Napier for some time in order to deliver this partnership and also to confirm a list of learners of various ages and stages from within the club.”

Roger Arnott, Hearts Academy Manager, added: “As a club, we place a strong emphasis on developing our young players both on and off the park.

“This partnership with Edinburgh Napier University offers our talented youngsters the chance to enrol in a fantastic higher education programme. We have no doubt that this will stand them in good stead in the years to come.”

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Welcoming the creation of the new course, Programme Lead Dr Tom Campbell said he had ‘no doubt the students will hit the ground running’.

Dr Campbell explained: “One of the real strengths of the programme lies in the widespread application of theory to a familiar context, allowing students to draw upon their existing sporting experience while generating new knowledge and understanding.

“This new development will see the same principles applied to the football academy environment and having the academies' input into the design of the course has been invaluable in creating a state-of-the-art programme."

Dr Susan Brown, Edinburgh Napier lead for partnerships and enterprise in sport, echoed her colleague’s comments, adding: “There is mounting evidence that a dual career approach is beneficial to performance and not only a useful activity for the future.

"We believe we can help the clubs support their young players to succeed both on and off the pitch.”

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