The sports industry
Activate Learning run a variety of sports academies in partnership with leading sports institutions from across the country. Our learners have the opportunity to pursue a professional sporting career whilst studying to achieve a recognised qualification at one of our colleges.
Since 2005, weekly sport participation in England has grown by two million to nearly 16 million. More people than ever before are now actively playing sports and this creates increased opportunities for coaches, trainers and sports development officers.
In 2018, there were approximately 14,000 full-time sports players employed fulltime in the UK. Additionally, there were roughly 29,000 full-time sports coaches, instructors, and officials in the UK.
Our student alumni
Our students have gone on to have successful careers within professional sport, including Gareth McCleary and Matt Taylor who are both currently playing in the football championship for Reading FC and Bristol Rovers FC.
Student spotlight: Des Buckingham
Former Activate Learning City of Oxford College student, Des Buckingham’s interest in football coaching has taken him to a career at the other side of the world. Des, who studied the Football Education Programme in Sports Coaching and Exercise Science at Level 3, is now the Wellington Phoenix FC Manager/Head Coach and previously was working as goalkeeping and assistant coach to the New Zealand side. The three-year contract follows time spent as a Football Development Manager in New Zealand, where he was responsible for player and coaching development.
After graduating from City of Oxford College, Des landed a part-time role as a football coach at Activate Learning.
The opportunity with Activate Learning is one of my career highlights. This progressed into a full-time role which was a very rewarding and exciting time for me at 23-years-old. I was working towards my next coaching qualification, which the college supported me with throughout the next two years.
Des was also heavily involved with his local football club, Oxford United FC, eventually becoming a full-time coach with the club. He spent 10 years at Oxford United FC, working in a number of different coaching roles, before moving to New Zealand Football in 2013. He is currently in the process of completing his outfield coaching Pro Licence, and holds a UEFA outfield A Licence and a UEFA goalkeeping A Licence.