Football academy in agency hunt

A soon-to-launch football academy designed to make the sport accessible to youngsters of all backgrounds is on the hunt for PR and sponsorship support.

UEFA-trained football coach Colin Stewart is looking for PR help in a bid to raise sponsorship funds for the project, Ark Academy, which he aims to get off the ground later this year.

West London-based Ark Academy is set to offer budding 15 to 19-year-old football players the chance to receive professional football coaching free of charge.

With a philosophy of 'bringing football to the people', Stewart said the academy aims to help children who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford professional training realise their potential.

'The academy's programme aims to be accessible to a previously "cut off" market where quality professional training of this nature is not usually presented,' said Stewart.

'If you want to get into football, you rarely can unless you are kitted-out to a certain standard - the lack of funds stops a lot of very talented youngsters getting into football, which we hope to address,' he added.

Stewart is hoping to get a PR agency on board ahead of the programme's target launch in December, with members starting in the New Year.

The brief will focus on gaining sponsorship and raising awareness of the academy.

Stewart is currently drawing up the academy schedule, featuring both football training and personal development coaching.

'We feel that it is not just a case of letting youngsters play football, but to give them something more - self respect - helping them to see their value and directing them to realise their potential,' said Stewart.

While it would be an advantage for agencies to be based in London, Stewart said it was not essential.

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