The Faroese Football Association has teamed up with upper secondary schools in the Faroe Islands to offer footballers a chance to combine training and schooling. The new scheme gives those aged 16 to 20 the opportunity to train as elite athletes and gain an education at the same time.
Páll Isholm, headmaster at upper secondary school Miðnám á Kambsdali, believes the new programme offers the right structure for who wish to become elite footballers.
“If you aspire to be an elite athlete, you need to train a great deal,” says Páll. “Without an understanding and arrangement between you and your employer, which in this case is the school, it will be difficult to plan your day, both in school and on the pitch.”
Páll believes a good collaboration between the students and the school will benefit both sides.
“Students aged 16 to 20 are ready to taste life as elite athletes. The way forward is to combine training and schooling. The school’s goal is to educate students as much as possible. For this to work, students must find satisfaction and pleasure in what they’re doing. Creating a space for special needs and interests, for example for students interested in music or sports, will increase students’ desire and interest in going to school,” says Páll.
The programme, which has proved successful in other countries, will be evaluated after one year. Páll sees potential in starting similar programmes for other sports.
“In time, we can build an elite sports programme at our school in Kambsdalur that aims to give elite athletes an elite schooling opportunity, equivalent to international standards,” says Páll.