Community football partnership will provide a wealth of student opportunity

Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are putting their expertise to good use by helping a community football club hit the big league.

Thurnby Rangers Football Club, who currently compete in the Leicester District League, have signed a unique partnership with DMU and believe the university’s knowledge, reputation and support can help them realise their ambitions.

Thurnby Ranger

In addition, a number of projects have already been identified where DMU students can work positively with the club, to engage people from the local community.

Club Treasurer, Peter Billson, said: “The partnership will bring mutual benefit for both DMU and our community football club and we’re extremely excited to be working with them.

“We believe this partnership will help us grow beyond what we ever imagined, continue our success and secure the clubs future.

“We want to bring the local community into the club, creating a central hub for people to come together. We want people who may not necessarily like football, to join us on match days even if it’s just for a cup of tea and to network.”

The partnership will see DMU Architecture students working with the club to design new concepts for potential redevelopment of the clubhouse facilities in the future.

DMU’s legal team and students from the Faculty of Business and Law will also work with the club to help them gain charity status.

The grounds team at Beaumont Park will offer their expertise to keep the facilities and playing surface in good condition, ensuring the club can play regularly with few postponements and DMU will promote nutritional advice and health awareness.

As part of a democratic and transparent partnership, Thurnby Rangers will also regularly share club and account information with DMU.

DMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Dominic Shellard, said: “We are proud to form a new partnership with Thurnby Rangers Football Club and continue our strong commitment to community football.

“This partnership means we can share our educational expertise with the club and extend our support for local communities across Leicester through our DMU Square Mile scheme, while also providing wonderful opportunities for our students.”

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Unsung hero Pat Derby is the Chair of the club and his involvement has guided the team to where they are today.

His involvement for 42 years has secured their current home at Dakyn Road, Thurnby, the building of clubhouse facilities and guided them to victory in almost all major Saturday and Sunday competitions. They also have ambitions of creating more sides including a ladies set up.

DMU Square Mile wants to offer their support too and will be encouraging players and local young people to engage with opportunities within communities and on campus.

Mark Charlton, Head of Public Engagement at DMU, said: “We hope to get players and young people from the local community involved in DMU Square Mile projects.

“Through on campus events and work within the community, we hope to engage with young people, educating them about Higher Education.

“We hope our expertise can also help support the club realise their potential, develop and secure their future.”

Find out more about DMU’s new partners by visiting them on Facebook.

Posted on Thursday 15th December 2016

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