01 October 2008

University supports football stars of the future

Colchester Campus

Colchester United Under 10s squad

Colchester United are pleased to announce the University of Essex as proud new sponsors of the club’s Centre of Excellence.

The University have agreed a deal to sponsor the U’s younger sides, which range from U8s through to U16s. All of the age groups kits will carry the University's logo on the front of their shirts as they travel around the country representing Colchester United.

The University, which has campuses in Colchester, Loughton and Southend, is delighted to get on board. Dr Tony Rich, Registrar at the University, said: 'The University of Essex has a long-standing relationship with Colchester United and we are pleased to be able to strengthen that relationship further. '

'Our widening participation activities and those of the Centre of Excellence aim to raise aspirations of young people and help them achieve their goals. The University is pleased to be able to support those aims through our sponsorship of the Centre of Excellence.'

The U’s first team currently train at the University of Essex, with Centre of Excellence games also being played there, so for U’s Head of Youth Steve Downey, it is a logical extension of what is already being done.

He added: 'After a very long relationship between the football club and the University of Essex, this partnership is a fantastic opportunity for the youth department to continue to their long standing objectives of producing home grown talent.'

'For many years the Centre of Excellence (schoolboy teams) have played their home games at the University, and this support will only cement an already sound and mutually beneficial relationship.'



Notes to editors:

About the University of Essex
The University of Essex is one of the UK's leading academic institutions. Founded in 1964, when it opened its doors to a cohort of just 122 students at Wivenhoe Park in Colchester, the University has grown in both reputation and size, developing a worldwide reputation for top quality teaching and research.

The University opened its Southend Campus in January 2007 and there are now more than 8,000 students, studying at three campuses across Essex. Academic departments span the humanities, social sciences, science and engineering, and law and management. Essex is the UK's most internationally diverse campus university, with students drawn from 130 countries.

About the Centre of Excellence
Colchester United have used the University’s Colchester Campus as a training base for over 20 years. The Centre of Excellence programme also trains at the Campus (on the STP) and plays its home fixtures there throughout the season.

The Colchester United Community Sports Trust has two fun weeks at the University over the summer each year to provide football activities to the local community (this usually involves around 300 young people).

For further information about the University of Essex, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk. For further information about Colchester United, please contact David Gregory on telephone: 01206 755147 or 07775 708214.

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