A Flintshire high school that has run a hugely successful sports coaching course for eight years, is launching a football-based programme for students passionate about the sport.

Flint High School was the first school in Wales to offer the two-year LLS Sports Industry Programme designed specifically for 16 to 19-year-olds. Students study a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Development, Coaching and Fitness which provides the equivalent of three A level qualifications and opens up career opportunities in a variety of professions based on the skills students have developed through their interest in sport. Upon graduation, students have gone on to university to study sport and non-sport and a range of career pathways including studying coaching at college, taking up apprenticeships, and starting full time employment with Aura Wales.

Read more: National education award honour for Flint High School student

On the back of this success, the school is delighted to announce the launch of the Steven Gerrard Academy, the only one in Wales. Founded more than 10 years ago, more than 1,000 students have graduated from the programme and secured roles within the football industry.

The Academy will be based at Flint Town Football Club's new 4G pitch with a dedicated pitch-side classroom for theory-based study. Students will undertake a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (development, coaching & fitness) which is again equivalent to 3 A-Levels and up to 168 UCAS Points.

Following a successful taster session last month which attracted a high level of interest from local students, a full introductory session will be held at Prestatyn Town Football Club on Wednesday, June 22, 5.15pm meet for a 5.30pm start, led by Michael Wilde.

Attendees to the taster session were put into two teams to play a competitive match.

Attendees to the taster session were put into two teams to play a competitive match.

The SGA programme offers stimulating football training sessions led by UEFA-qualified and experienced coaches, focusing on player and team with five parts to every session: technical, possession/pattern of play, small-sided game/phase of play and a cool down. Using a sport science approach to introduce innovative and up-to-date methods, and to monitor player performance, enables players to develop and reach their full potential.

Andy Skeoch, LLS Lead Tutor North Wales, will oversee the educational side of the SGA, alongside the LLS course at the school.

He said: "The SGA programme is a fantastic opportunity for students who are keen on football to gain a qualification that will open doors for a career in the industry.

"The programme provides an optimum balance between practical football sessions and theory studies. Students will learn from the best coaches in the business and play in national league competitions at different levels against other academies and football colleges.

Read more: School's sponsored breakfast club takes bite out of exam hunger

"Having delivered the LLS course at Flint High School, it is fantastic to see how students grow and develop, often achieving so much more than they ever could have imagined. I am excited that we are now introducing the SGA which I am sure will result in equally amazing results.

"The link with the community is a key part of the LLS course and the SGA programme and this is something the students really benefit from. We want students to become role models in the community and help younger children who are interested in sport.

"Students will be pushed academically and practically to achieve outstanding grades through this course and I look forward to welcoming our first cohort to the SGA in September."

The LLS course and the SGA programme are open to students living in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire.

To book a place on the introductory SGA session, please contact: www.stevengerrardacademy.com, info@stevengerrardacademy.com or call 0151 294 3229.