26th May 1999
For immediate release
A pioneering partnership between Sussex University and Sussex County Cricket Club is set to secure the future of the county's young cricketers.
The unique scheme, which is being piloted this year by 19 year old Giles Haywood, aims to enable young players to study for a degree at the same time as they pursue a professional career in cricket. In order to play professionally, aspiring cricketers are often forced to make a choice between their sport and their education. If they get injured, or fail to make the grade as a professional player, they are often left with little to fall back on. The Sussex scheme allows players to successfully field this difficult choice.
Students who take advantage of the partnership benefit from financial support from The Sussex Federation of Young Cricketers. The University also undertakes to be as flexible as possible in helping students to juggle their cricketing and academic commitments. Giles was able to play for England on a tour of New Zealand earlier in the year which lasted six weeks. He took work with him, and caught up with seminars he had missed when he got back. Under the terms of the scheme, it would also be possible to reschedule exams if they clashed with a county match.
Giles, who is from Middleton-on-Sea, near Bognor, is studying geography and environmental studies. He felt the scheme was "a great opportunity, which came along just at the right time for me. I would love my future to involve playing cricket, but I have always enjoyed geography, and carrying on with my studying will give me a wide field of choice for a future career," he says.
Elizabeth Stewart, who is co-ordinating the Sussex arm of the scheme, stresses that students have to make the grade in their exams as well as their cricket before they can be admitted. "Giles has excellent time management skills - when his friends were going out after school, he was practising at nets. An ability to juggle commitments is one of the things we look for in a Sussex student."
Tony Pigott, Chief Executive of the Club, is very enthusiastic about the scheme: "It's a wonderful opportunity to prove that higher education and a professional cricketing career are not mutually exclusive. It's a relationship we are sure will prosper and flourish."
For further information please contact Sally Hall, Information Office, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 678335, email email@example.com, or Elizabeth Stewart, Undergraduate Admissions Office, Tel. 01273 606755 ext 3734.