A prospective teenage footballer from Bradford is just one student on a bespoke sport course in Yorkshire who is urging others to make the same decision he did and combine education and football into the perfect match.
17-year-old Karamjit Basi, from Tyersal, is currently enrolled at the Shipley College Guiseley Football Academy which was set up to combine high quality football development with continued academic study.
Students spend six to eight hours a week training, whilst also playing matches against professional academies, alongside educational work.
Central-midfielder, Karamjit, who has had spells with the academies at Bradford City and Leeds United in the past, was initially sceptical about the workload yet insists the course is ‘great fun’ and ‘extremely rewarding’.
“It is going very well,” he said. “At the start of the course I thought it may be more difficult to be putting the education side and football together but it has been really enjoyable.
“One of the main things you learn is that if you don’t make it in life as a footballer there are other careers out there which still revolve around the sport.
“It is also a very rewarding course as it is a BTEC Level 3 diploma meaning you can get three A grades at A-Level when you finish, so if you are interested in university you have the qualifications.”
Set up in 2012, the academy also caters for extra qualifications which young players aspire to achieve, giving them even more credentials upon leaving the course.
For Karamjit, who was playing for Rothwell Juniors before he joined up with Guiseley Academy, this was a big factor in his decision to enrol.
“You have the opportunity to be put through your coaching badges here which again leaves the door open for different ways to get into the sport,” he said.
“Ideally I hope to further my footballing career and do it as my profession but for now I know that by getting the best qualifications I possibly can, it will help set me up for a career in football, one way or another.”
He added: “I would definitely recommend the course to anybody who is considering it.
“What you put in is what you get out, and it may be a lot of hard work but at the end of the day, it will all be worthwhile.”