A valleys learner is one step closer to achieving his dreams of becoming a professional footballer after landing a scholarship to train and study at a leading college in the US.Â Â
Owain Jones, 19, from Tonypandy, is set to head stateside this summer after securing a place at New York-based Jamestown Community College.
The talented player, who is currently completing a Level 3 qualification in Sport at Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s Nantgarw campus, will train with the collegeâ€™s acclaimed athletics department to advance his skills in football and help kickstart his dream career of playing professionally.
Owain was presented with the opportunity to train abroad through Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s sports department who set up meetings for him with sports agency, Future Elite Sports. The college and agency worked closely together to highlight Owainâ€™s football talents, with the college actively filming matches and training sessions which Owain took part in and the agency assisting Owain in preparing for a showcase in front of U.S coaches where his skills and talent were put under the spotlight.
After months of calls between Future Elite Sports and interested coaches, Owain received offers from three US-based colleges, before ultimately deciding to confirm his place in Jamestown Community College.
Owain said: â€œIâ€™ve always had a passion for football and have played the sport from a young age. To play professionally in the future is a dream of mine, and Iâ€™m determined to achieve this.
Â â€œI am so thankful to Coleg y Cymoedd for introducing me to Future Elite Sports, as well as for my tutors Phil Thomas, Daniel Thomas and the football coaching staff for helping me achieve this goal of mine. Without them, I wouldnâ€™t be where I am today with regards to my football knowledge and confidence.
â€œTo be able to secure a place to study abroad, especially during such difficult times, is something Iâ€™m proud of. Iâ€™m so excited to see what this opportunity has in store for me and canâ€™t wait to take part in the top-class training Jamestown Community College Athletics has to offer.â€
Jamestown Community College is a member of the Western New York Athletic Conference and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) – the American national governing body for collegiate athletics. Following the successful completion of his two-year course at Jamestown Community College, Owain will be eligible to progress his international education and training further as a student-athlete at a US university, opening up doors for a professional footballing career.
Philip Thomas, Owainâ€™s course tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: â€œStudying in New York is a fantastic opportunity for Owain. The process to securing a place to study in the US has taken hard work, but Owain has seen it all the way through and demonstrated his confidence and conviction.
Â â€œHe has shown great commitment to his football and has inspired other learners to follow in his footsteps. Weâ€™re so proud of Owain and canâ€™t wait to see him excel in his studies and training abroad.â€
To find out more about the Sports qualifications and opportunities Coleg y Cymoedd has to offer, visit: https://www.cymoedd.ac.uk/
Rhondda Cynon Taff