The Whitelands Farm Sports Ground, located in Kingsmere, offers the local community the chance to join a range of sports clubs, while also offering young people in Bicester a number of sports education programmes.
As a new school year gets underway, Kingsmere welcomes the return of the Advanced Coaching & Education programme to the Whitelands Farm Sports Ground – a sports education programme aimed at 16-19 year olds in Bicester. The programme, which delivers BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas in Sport & Exercise Science, is run on the sports ground’s premises in Kingsmere, Bicester’s newest village development that is being developed by Countryside.
The diploma is the equivalent of doing 3 A-Levels, meaning that students who have a vocation in sports can choose to join the programme and be ready to enter university the following year.
Following a highly successful inaugural year, 12 students from the class of 2020 received an impressive three A*s. Testament to the success of the sports programme at Kingsmere, four Bicester pupils are progressing to study a university programme also held at Whitelands Sports Ground. The launch of a new sports science university degree, run entirely at Whitelands Farm Sports Ground and delivered in collaboration with Virtual Learning UK (VLUK).
There are 55 students enrolled in the sports programme for 2020/1 and Paul Davis, Managing Director of Advanced Coaching & Education who runs the ACE football academy from the sports ground, has plans to continue expanding the programme so more young people in Bicester can enjoy everything that sport has to offer.
Paul Davis says: “Our goal at the Whitelands Farm Sports Ground is clear, and that’s to involve more of Bicester’s youth in sports. We ultimately want children and young people to enjoy what they do, and a dedication to sports comes with many benefits, both physical and mental.”
“The idea of running the education programme on the sports ground is to foster collaboration between the clubs that already play there and the students. It’s wonderful to see diverse age groups and skill levels coming together. It’s a very supportive and inclusive environment where everyone helps each other. There is also, of course, healthy competition as well with many of the teams playing against each other on the weekends.”
The programme of education on offer at the sports ground is growing from strength to strength, as more young people in Bicester continue to join the BTEC Level 3 Diploma. Whitelands Farm Sports Ground has excellent sporting facilities, making it the perfect place to provide sports education. and is home to several football and rugby clubs. It also hosts a wide range of health and fitness classes for Kingsmere residents and the wider community to enjoy.
Martin Leach, Director, Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd, says: “The Whitelands Farm Sports Ground is one of the key elements that make Kingsmere a wonderful place to call home. The sports facilities are among Bicester’s finest and it’s been great to see how Kingsmere’s residents, along with Bicester’s local community, have benefitted from using them. There is undoubtedly a bright future ahead as the sports ground continues to bind local communities of all age groups together in Bicester.”
Paul adds: “It’s fantastic to see how the sports club has been instrumental in bringing Bicester’s community closer together. Since its establishment, the sports ground has managed to attract people from Kingsmere, Bicester and beyond. We currently have 55 young people who live in Kingsmere enrolled in our education programme and expect to see more as the new phase is built. Most of the people who play in the clubs come from Bicester but there are also a number of Kingsmere residents who have joined teams. We even have people coming down from Oxford to use our facilities..”
Whitelands Farm Sports Ground hosts a 3G pitch for football, rugby and other activities. It also has a separate open space comprising of grass pitches for football and rugby, a perimeter track suitable for running, cycling and wheelchair use. The impressive sports pavilion at Whitelands has a spacious function room, together with a cafe and licensed bar that’s open on match days.
The function room hosted on the premises is hired out for private events, meetings, weddings and conferences.