Education

Bournemouth university and football club celebrate eleventh year in partnership

AFC Bournemouth Women’s manager Steve Cuss, Nathaniel Hobby Senior Communications Manager at Bournemouth University and representatives from the women’s and girls’ teams

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: November 5, 2023 | Updated: 5th November 2023

The partnership between Bournemouth University and AFC Bournemouth, two of the town’s largest organisations, is celebrating its 11th year.

Bournemouth University logo

It dates back to the 2013-14 season, the football club’s first back in the Championship after securing promotion from League One.

Since then, both parties have grown in stature, with AFC Bournemouth now competing in the Premier League and Bournemouth Uni being ranked 41st in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings 2023.

Working for the benefit of staff, students, supporters and the community, the partnership includes support of both the women’s and girls’ programmes at the football club.

BU is the principal partner of these teams, appearing on the front of the women’s and girls’ shirts. The university works to support these programmes through fitness testing, student involvement off the pitch and promotion of joint activities.

AFC Bournemouth women’s team manager Steve Cuss said, “We’ve got a really strong partnership with BU that we’re really proud of and, through our partnership we’re able to offer recreational sessions for girls.

“That leads through into our pathway of development where, if they show a little bit of desire and that little bit of talent, they get selected to go through to the next stage of our development pathway.

“The pathway has provided a number of players that have go on to play for the women’s first team, so we’re exceptionally proud of the pathway and the partnership.”

In celebration of the partnership, one women’s and one men’s game each year is designated as a ‘BU Big Match’.

AFC Bournemouth also provide coaching to BU’s men’s and women’s football teams, while the partnership also gives staff and students the chance to engage with first team players.

Through the 11 years of partnership, players and managers like Eddie Howe, Nathan Ake, Lewis Cook and Tyrone Mings have spoken to staff and students.

BU students work in key roles at the Club, such as working on matchday entertainment, in the ticketing office, and supporting the matchday experience for supporters. BU’s journalism students can report on games for student media channels.

Jim Andrews, Chief Operating Officer at Bournemouth University, said, “The longevity of this partnership has allowed us to work together to provide real impact for our staff and students, and the local community, over time.

“The partnership working has created opportunities for students to develop their skills and support their future careers, and I’m proud of the way we have been able to support the women’s and girls’ teams as the women’s game has grown and developed over the life of the partnership.

“I am looking forward to cheering the AFC Bournemouth teams on again this season.”

Read next: Bournemouth University’s contribution to society recognised as the third Knowledge Exchange Framework is published

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