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Connell Co-op College will be working in partnership with Manchester Cycling Academy to offer budding cyclists the chance to train and study. 

The cycling academy for aspirational bike riders aged 16-19 years is based on the Etihad Campus in East Manchester, less than four minutes away from the National Cycling Centre.  

Students will be able to study the three A Level equivalent BTEC Sports Coaching and Development, BTEC Sport and Exercise Science or a choice of A Levels/other BTEC qualifications.

Connell Co-op College is part of Co-op Academies Trust and is the number one sixth form college in Manchester for A Level and BTEC Level 3 Progress.

The college has strong links with Manchester City FC through its CITC Football Programme. Staff are used to accommodating elite athletes and boast some notable graduates including current Team GB Track Cycling star Sophie Capewell; Para-Cycling Olympic gold medallist, Sophie Thornhill; Manchester City and England Women’s goalkeeper, Ellie Roebuck and current Manchester City and England men’s star Phil Foden.

Emma Soper, Principal of Connell Co-op College, welcomed the announcement and said: “We are very much looking forward to working with Manchester Cycling Academy and welcoming future Olympians to Connell Co-op College.

“Adding cycling compliments our existing sports offer which includes the City in the Community Football Pathway and the Sport in the Community Pathway which is run in partnership with GLL. Manchester Cycling Academy students will also benefit from the partnership we have with our nearest neighbour – the Manchester Institute of Sport delivered by Nuffield Health.

“The programme will provide a unique opportunity for cycling students to benefit from high quality teaching, learning environments and great qualifications. When students complete the course they will stand out from the crowd and leave with a unique skill set.”

Stefan Hopewell, Director of Manchester Cycling Academy also welcomed the announcement and said: “Connell Co-op College is a perfect fit for Manchester Cycling Academy. It fits our vision of offering A levels and BTECs and the close proximity to world class cycling facilities will allow the riders to transfer between their academic studies and training sessions without interruption.

“Not only is it possible to transfer quickly from the college to the velodrome in minutes to facilitate cycling training sessions, the college has an excellent reputation for gaining academic results and for progression to higher education and training.

“Adding A Levels to our offer means that those riders who want to take the traditional education route can still join the cycling programme and continue with their academic studies, whilst offering the three A Level equivalent BTEC means that those who want to choose a more practical and vocational qualification can also do so.”

Places will be limited in 2023 and competition is expected to be fierce, so early application is encouraged. Apply now to be invited to an interview evening on Wednesday 25 January 2023. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 31 January 2023. 

Apply online now.