Local sports stars get on their marks and get set to gain new business skills

Local sports stars get on their marks and get set to gain new business skills

A group of students from Suffolk New College have signed up to a new project that aims to set them up for a life in business whilst they pursue their sporting ambitions.

The youngsters recently attended an event that was hosted by Nino Severino during a soft launch of his new project entitled SportsSkills4Business. This project is looking to partner local stars with businesses to help them develop their skills away from the sporting arena and help them get ready for the workplace.

Suffolk New College students hoping to be part of the SportsSkills4Business project. Photo: JOHN NICE
Suffolk New College students hoping to be part of the SportsSkills4Business project. Photo: JOHN NICE

Mr Severino runs the Elena Baltacha Foundation that was set up in 2014 and aims to help children from all backgrounds achieve their sporting dreams.

At the launch, that took place at The Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre at the University of Suffolk, Mr Severino, said, “I’m really excited to be working with Suffolk New College. The college is a great source for us in terms of identifying elite athletes.

“In terms of the project, we now have some of the region’s top athletes and we have been fortunate to receive great backing from businesses such as Birketts and Barclays. Therefore, the next step is to partner the athletes with businesses and create workable programmes that will get young people out into the boardrooms to gain crucial work experiences.

“I’m really excited about bringing the two worlds together as both in business and sport, you need similar qualities to succeed. You have to be flexible, committed, determined and work hard. Therefore, when these two worlds collide the potential is huge.”

Lee Mandley is Head of Sport at the College. He said, “This is an amazing opportunity for our students. We are all about giving our learners additional exceptional experiences that can help them develop as individuals, and working with such high profile companies and potentially some of the ambassadors of the Elena Baltacha Foundation is very exciting.”

17-year-old Kaci Blease is from Ipswich. The BTEC Level Three Sport student said, “I’m currently competing around the country in kickboxing and karate, and I eventually want to set up my own gym and become a sports coach. It’s good that this project is happening. I’d not really seen the link between sport and business before, so this project is unique and I’m delighted to be involved.”

Karate star Kaci Blease, a Level 3 Sport student.
Martial Arts star Kaci Blease, a Level 3 Sport student. Photo: JOHN NICE


Main News image: Lee Mandley (left) and Nino Severino (right). Photo: JOHN NICE