Leicester City And King Power Launch Thailand International Academy
Offering an academic programme aimed at enriching the life experience and educational development of specially selected young people from Thailand, the pilot project, involving 16 students, will begin in January 2015.
The Thailand International Academy project aims to reward the achievements of young people selected across five regions of Thailand. It began with an identification process for 16-year-olds that involved recommendations from schools and youth clubs, practical football elements and theory-based academic tests.
Once in the UK, the successful candidates will be hosted by the LCFC Academy, whose standing as an elite educational establishment will allow for the delivery of a broad syllabus during their stay. The Leicester City Academy was awarded the Premier League’s coveted Category 1 status in 2013 as part of its Elite Player Performance Plan, placing the Foxes’ Academy setup among the very best in English football.
Academic sessions will be complemented by a footballing education delivered by the Club’s outstanding youth coaches.
Jon Rudkin, Leicester City’s Academy Director, said:“The young people identified for the pilot have been selected not simply for their ability as footballers, but for their potential to broadly benefit from what will be an intense academic experience.
“The chance to study and experience a completely different learning environment while furthering their football education is something that will be of huge benefit to them, at an age where their development as people enters an important stage.
“We look forward to welcoming them to Leicester and to contributing to a positive learning experience.”
The selection team for the 2015 intake includes Leicester City legend and former England striker Emile Heskey, who will bring a wealth of experience to the project as a Thailand International Academy ambassador.
Born, raised and schooled in Leicester, Emile is a graduate of the Leicester City Academy and made nearly 200 appearances for the Foxes between 1994 and 2000, winning the League Cup twice before being transferred to Liverpool for £11 million, which remains a Club record. His international profile and experience of personal development as a young person in Leicester make Emile, who recently finished a spell with Newcastle Jets in Australia’s A-League, the perfect candidate for the role.
Emile said:“It’s a great honour to be working with Leicester City again, particularly on a project that will be so beneficial for young people experiencing life in a foreign country.
“If my experiences – as a footballer, as a young person in Leicester or as someone that has experienced adjusting to life abroad – can help, I’ll be really pleased to make a positive contribution.
“Watching some of the candidates completing their maths exams as part of the selection process brought back some great memories of my school days in Leicester, so I’m really looking forward to being part of the journey."
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Leicester City Vice Chairman, said:“This is a wonderful opportunity for 16 young people to experience something with true character building potential and we are delighted that King Power’s partnership with Leicester City has helped to make it happen.
“It is a great privilege to be able to offer talented young people such a platform for development, particularly around the aspirational environment of a Premier League football club.”
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