hackney wick

Loughborough agrees partnership with Hackney Wick FC to create new academy

Loughborough University and Loughborough College have agreed a community development partnership with London-based football club Hackney Wick.

The collaboration brings together the three leading institutions to create a new football academy offering quality education and guidance to Hackney Wick’s emerging talented footballers.

As part of the agreement, members of the academy will have the opportunity to enrol onto Loughborough College’s BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development, delivered from Loughborough University London, on the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Founded over seven years ago by Bobby Kasanga, Hackney Wick is one of the most recognised community clubs in world football and provides opportunities and empowerment that extend far beyond sport. Through multiple community impact projects, Hackney Wick are renowned for the positive effect they have on their local area.

The club works with over 150 players on a weekly basis, with qualified coaches delivering enhanced training sessions to better the players’ prospects. Hackney Wick takes pride in supporting others, especially those from more marginalised communities.

The partnership will also see Hackney Wick Academy regularly attend the University’s East Midlands campus for training camps and matches.

Jo Simpson, Commercial and Facilities Director for Loughborough Sport said: “I am immensely proud to launch this new partnership with Hackney Wick FC. It showcases the power of sport to change lives and build stronger and more vibrant communities. 

“When I first met the team behind Hackney Wick, I was inspired by their story and the positive impact they have had on their community. This new Academy brings together the best of Hackney Wick and Loughborough Sport, allowing their players to develop as dual career athletes with dedicated education support and access to opportunities across the sporting world.   

“I am very excited to see the first cohort benefit from this new pathway as they join the academy programme later this year.”

Bobby Kasanga, founder of Hackney Wick commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with Loughborough University and Loughborough College to create this ground-breaking new academy. This is an exciting opportunity for our students to be associated with this programme. The pathways and outcomes are endless and we can’t wait to open the doors to the Hackney Wick FC Academy.”

Matt O’Dowd, Head of Elite Sport and Sport Development for Loughborough College said: “Loughborough College provides education support to young performers to enhance their career both on and off the pitch. This new programme, in partnership with Hackney Wick FC and Loughborough University, will provide a unique opportunity for young people to fulfil their dreams and reach their potential”.

For more information on the Hackney Wick Academy, visit its dedicated website here: https://www.loucoll.ac.uk/the-hackney-wick-fc-academy

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/08

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings – the sixth year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’.

In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.