TEESSIDE University’s support for its student athletes has seen it receive prestigious accreditation from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) initiative.

The Sport England-backed programme aims to enable talented young athletes to reach their potential in education alongside achieving success in their sport.

The TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme recognises an education institution’s commitment to supporting dual career athletes who are in full-time education to achieve success in both areas.

Greg Aspin, Performance Sports Co-ordinator and Strength & Conditioning Coach at Teesside University, said: “We are proud to have been recognised as a TASS Accredited Site for supporting our dual career performance athletes.

“Our primary goal is to provide the best possible environment for our athletes to grow, develop and achieve their full potential. This accreditation recognises our flexible approach to student athletes and will help us to recruit and support more young athletes in the future.”

A number of world class athletes have studied at Teesside University in recent years, including WBO female middleweight boxer Savannah Marshall, Olympic and Commonwealth GB swimmer Aimee Wilmott, Arsenal Women and England footballer Beth Mead, Paralympic and Commonwealth triathlete Jade Jones, UCI World Team cyclist Harry Tanfield and Irish rugby international Sophie Spence, who has been included in a new set of Royal Mail stamps to celebrate the 150th anniversaries of the first ever rugby international game.

Dual career athletes at Teesside University are offered personalised strength and conditioning programmes, physiotherapy and spots psychology support, nutritional guidance, lifestyle mentoring and free access to the University’s gym facilities.

Recognition as a TASS Dual Career Accredited Site will help the University to attract a greater number of talented athletes and to build connections with other local sporting institutions.

The accreditation follows the University’s recent work with Middlesbrough Women FC, Stockton FC and Grangetown Netball to help students towards future sporting careers through partnerships and schemes which nurture and support promising young athletes during their academic studies.

Teesside University Honorary Graduate, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, has also backed the scheme.

She said: “The TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme is a vitally important measure to ensuring all athletes have the chance to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded approach to life.”

As a Dual Career accredited site, Teesside University will be an important extension of the network of universities that already partner with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 600 student athletes each year.

TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to colleges and universities across England.

“Dual career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that’s why the Accreditation Scheme is so important for us in recognising those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education too.

“We hope that the academic flexibility policies put into place for the Accreditation will begin to develop an effective and lasting dual career structure within each institution.

“Congratulations to the successful institutions and we look forward to working alongside many more outstanding colleges and universities in the near future.”

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