1 Ashfield Road, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 1LH 
 

The start of the gloomy November weather was brightened by the news that Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy had retained their 100% season record with a 5-0 victory over iSports FC, so here at Onside we decided to take a little trip down there and observe the academy in action (as well to heap a bit of praise on them!). 

On arrival we got to experience first-hand Maths and English lessons with both year 1 and year 2 students. It was clear from the offset that the tutors (Dale and Ant) have a great rapport with the students and were able to make the lessons fun and engaging, to which it was clear the students really responded to. This included encouraging one student to do 10 press ups with another student on his back to demonstrate a coaching technique (all done very safely, and to great effect as the students loved this novel approach).  
 
Of course, we couldn't forget that we were here off the back of Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy’s recent victory therefore we grabbed the chance to speak to the man of the match Jo Weja (remember us as the first interview if you go pro in the future Jo!!) and here’s what he had to say 
 
On being top of the league…. It’s really good! I mean you can’t do any better than being first. 
 
On lucky charms…. No definitely not, no lucky charms- I’m not superstitious at all. You learn to just trust your natural instinct in Football. 
 
On the importance of focus….If you’re going to enroll here I would say take it seriously, the thing is even when its relaxed there is a focus there. Like we went out of the cup because we didn’t concentrate on the game, but our response from the loss of the cup was to win 5-0 so you need to keep that focus. 
 
On choosing Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy over college…. Other students sold it to me over the college as the education would be in one place, there would be no travelling around during the day to different sites, and when I came here it just felt better- the tutors can communicate with you better. 
 
On why Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy is better than school ….it’s different from school- much different! More adaptable than school, less strict as well, which obviously has it pros and cons but there are definitely more pros than cons. I feel I concentrate more here, which I think is because the tutors treat you more like an adult, where in school they treat you more like a child. There’s more of a mutual respect here. 
 
On future plans…I would like to carry on with football and maybe after the course has finished to go to University, or there’s a Football scholarship to America I would really like! but if I went to University I’d maybe like to try and study something different…. probably cooking. 
 
On describing Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy in one word…. or a sentence….Potential…. it’s got great potential if you’re coming in early. 
 
(Okay we may have asked a tough question there with that last one but Jo rose to the challenge haha! some might say much like Rochdale Sacred Hearts have been continuing to do all season). 
We also found time to sit down for a quick chat with Year 2 Apprenticeship student Aaron and find out about his experiences at Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy as an apprentice. Giving a glimpse into the day-to day-life students can expect if they choose to pursue the apprenticeship route, as well as extra insight into studying with Rochdale Sacred Heart Academy. 
 
As an apprentice Aaron gets involved in; business administrative tasks such as scanning documents, uploading files to central databases, organising fixtures, meeting and greeting away teams as well as writing up match reports on Rochdale Sacred Heart games that are uploaded onto their official academy website and social media platforms. Aaron also told us that as an apprentice he has the opportunity to take over warm-up practices in training and that Mike and Ant will often ask for his opinion in training- all offering great hands on coaching experience for his planned future as a P.E. teacher. On a more general route Aaron sees the education and training being delivered in the same place and by the same tutors as a massive plus compared to college courses- which can involve a number of tutors and requirements to travel to different locations for study throughout one day. He was also keen to stress that the tutors at Rochdale Sacred Heart provide assistance in other key areas, for instance- helping with the construction of CVs and applications to Football coaching camps in the USA. The tutors also work to secure regular guest speakers to inspire their students, Aaron told us last week’s speaker was a physiotherapist from Manchester City F.C. This served to further highlight the commitment Rochdale Sacred Heart have to their students. They are invested in getting the best out of them and from what we observed yesterday throughout watching lessons and chatting to a few of the students those who enrol really enjoy attending Rochdale Sacred Heart and are being provided with the unique opportunity to make big steps towards their futures.To sum up, in Jo’s words, Rochdale Sacred Heart has great potential for their students to learn a lot, have fun along the way…and of course play a lot of Football! 
 
Rochdale Sacred Hearts are also now recruiting for their 2018/19 season so if you are aged 16-18 and love Football you won't want to miss this opportunity! Call Mike Holt on 07717878382 for an informal chat or email mholt40@hotmail.co.uk to express an interest. 
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