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Liverpool FC Academy players visit the University of Warwick

A squad of academy players from Liverpool Football Club will be getting a taste of University life later this month when they visit the University of Warwick’s Politics and International Studies Department (PAIS).

The event, which is part of the PAIS widening participation and schools outreach programme, will look to inspire the young players to think about the benefits of higher education.

Exchanging score boards for mortar boards, the players will take part in a range of seminars and lectures to give them a glimpse of life as an undergraduate student at University.

“The reality is that only a small fraction of players will ever make regular top flight football,” said Phil Roscoe, Head of Education and Welfare for LFC Academy, “we are absolutely committed at Liverpool Football Club to ensuring that our players don’t close off any career options – and for us that means ensuring they all get a good quality education and plenty of information as to how they can continue academic study either alongside or in place of a full-time professional career.

“In order to do this, we needed to be able to de-mystify what it means to study at degree level - that means giving them a real chance to try it out for themselves. When the University’s Politics and International Studies department contacted us about doing some outreach work, we were happy to take up the opportunity.”

Dr Trevor McCrisken from the University of Warwick said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming the Liverpool FC Academy trainees onto campus. This two day event will give the players a chance to experience what it’s like to study at university, which is a considerably different environment than the players are used to. We’ve got a keynote lecture planned on the Political Economy of Football, and a range of seminars with some of the Politics and International Studies Department’s best known academics.

“Outreach and widening participation work is very important to the University of Warwick, we are constantly working with schools and FE colleges to help introduce young people to the notion of university study so in many ways this project is very much part of our daily work. Of course the opportunity to work with players from a top-flight football club is very appealing!

“It’s been really heartening to work with the club and hear about their approach to the education of their players; they go above and beyond to ensure a broad range of learning opportunities and we hope that this new collaboration will enable us to feed into that education and work with the club to further enhance the offering.

“Politics particularly is a fascinating subject that surrounds us every day and we’ll be showing the squad just how broad and relevant a subject it is with a range of seminars on topics ranging from the Politics of Food Poverty to who will win the General Election. We’re hoping to show them just how useful a politics degree can be, whether they stay in football or move on to other careers, but also to think about the full range of other subjects that are taught at universities such as Warwick.

“We’re also lucky enough to have some great sporting facilities here at the University – in fact, we were one of the London Olympics official football training grounds – so the players will have an excellent experience on and off the field. Of course, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t pit the Liverpool U18’s team against the University’s own first XI – so there’s a friendly match on the afternoon of the second day – let’s just say our players are focusing as much on their fitness as their studies right now!”

The players will hear a keynote lecture from Dr Dave Webber on “The Political Economy of Football” and then participate in a seminar on one of the following subjects: “Who will win and lose in the General Election?”, “World Politics and Religion”, “The Politics of the Clothes we Wear”, “What is the greatest security threat facing humanity today?”, and “The Politics of Food Poverty”. Following the seminars there will be a panel Q&A session with academics and students from the University of Warwick.

For more information, interview requests or to attend the event please contact Lee Page, Communications Manager, University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email: l dot page at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Notes to editors:

Warwick Politics and International Studies Department (PAIS):

• As a hub of international excellence in teaching and research, PAIS was ranked fourth in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. The amount of research activity classed as “world leading” doubled since the previous REF in 2008

• PAIS offers eight core BA programmes, 11 core MA programmes and postgraduate courses including Double Masters degrees with international partners in Canada, Germany, Singapore and Spain.

• There are three research centres and one research group led by members of PAIS – the Centre for Studies in Democratisation, the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, the Centre for Ethics, Law and Public Affairs and the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group

Liverpool FC Academy:

• Liverpool FC Academy’s philosophy is to develop outstanding players and good human beings

• From the ages of 6 – 14 the Academy recruits the best talent from Liverpool and the rest of the UK. From 15 years upwards the best talent is recruited from all over the world

• The Academy reinforces the importance of education and delivers education through a comprehensive secondary school, Rainhill

• Academy players no longer clean boots and baths of the senior team. Instead we work hard to instil a sense of responsibility in them through community work

• The Academy aims to instil the values any parent would want in their child; respect, responsibility, discipline, humility and mental strength. These values produce players that win with style and lose with grace

22 April 2015


Dr Trevor McCrisken

+44 (0)7703 740 812

trevor dot mccrisken at warwick dot ac dot uk

Lee Page, Communications Manager

+44 (0)2476 574 255

+44 (0)7920 531 221

l dot page at warwick dot ac dot uk