Derbyshire footballer lands scholarship to USA

A YOUNG footballer from Derbyshire has been awarded a sports scholarship to attend Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia.

Twenty-one-year-old Sam Huntingdon will take up the scholarship in August where he will continue to train as a player as well as studying for a degree in Biology.

Sam secured his scholarship through Glasgow based FirstPoint USA, the largest sports scholarship consultants in the world. FirstPoint USA uses its extensive network in the US and acts as an intermediary between talented athletes and college coaches.

Sam, who attended the Millennium 6th Form Centre and previously played for Littleover Dazzlers, is actively involved in his local sporting community; working at Willows Sports Centre, where he helps to run 5-a-side football leagues.

Sam said: “I’m really looking forward to going to Reinhardt University in the United States. I believe that the system used in College sport in the USA is brilliant to encourage amateur athletes to gain an educational qualification whilst playing to a high standard before looking to move upwards in their sport”.

Barry Neville from FirstPoint USA said: “We wish Sam all the best in his new career. American colleges are keen to attract the very best sporting talent from across the world and our experience and long standing relationships with over 2,500 of colleges from the Hawaii in the west to New York in the East lets us provide the very best advice to any young athlete who has aspirations of living, studying and training in the US.”

On average, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) offer 126,000 sports scholarships every year worth a total of $1 billion. Around 8,500 UK students head to the US every year to study as part of the country’s extensive scholarship programme

Scholarships are regularly awarded to students with skills in football [soccer], tennis, golf and athletics as well as swimming, hockey and ten pin bowling.

The concept behind US sports scholarships is quite simple; it provides talented amateur sportsmen and women with an opportunity to pursue both an academic and athletic career simultaneously.

A sports scholarship to a US university can cover a percentage, sometimes all, of the costs associated with earning a university degree. In return, the student-athlete will represent the university in their respective sport and maintain a good level of academic performance. Scholarship offers can be as little as a couple of hundred dollars, right up to covering the total cost of tuition, room, board and books. On average, students pay around $7,500 per year.