YOUNG people aiming for a career in sport can pursue their dream with the help of Oxford City FC.

The Vanarama National League South outfit will next month launch Velocity, a full-time football and education course for students aged 16 to 23.

Separate BTEC and degree programmes combining sport business and academia will be delivered for men and women in the first scheme of its kind in Oxfordshire.

Students will have the chance to join the club's academy, with the male course led by ex-Oxford United player Mickey Lewis.

He said: “Velocity is a fantastic new provision of football and education programmes that are specifically tailored for students who want to follow a career in sport.

"There are so many ways to develop a fulfilling career in sport and the Velocity courses will provide an excellent grounding in a professional sports environment.”

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Meanwhile, U's Women's captain Lauren Haynes heads up the female section.

She said: “This is an exciting development for female football and education in Oxfordshire, with the opportunity to learn on a full-time course at a football club.

"It is the sort of opportunity I would have loved to have had when I was starting out in my career.

"Female football is growing in the UK and this course will enable more females to embark on a career in sport.”

The initiative has been created with City's partners, Ignite Sport UK, and will be delivered at the club's ground in Marston.

Justin Merritt, Velocity and Oxford City director, said: “This is a major step forward in our strategy to deliver first class education courses in Oxfordshire that combine sport with academia.

"It is the culmination of years of delivering education programmes and Velocity is the ideal course for teenagers who wish to pursue a career in sport.

"Not only will they learn in a supportive environment, they will be given practical real-life work experience opportunities within the football club.”