New Ten Year Partnership Sees Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence Set for Further Success

Preston’s College and Preston North End Community and Education Trust agree a ten year partnership, forming Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence.

Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence is an innovative education partnership between Preston’s College and Preston North End Community and Education Trust, allowing students studying a Diploma in Sport to compete regionally and nationally alongside their studies. Teams represent both organisations by playing in EFL Community and Education Football Alliance League weekly fixtures, against other club community organisations.

After a successful first year, with two teams winning their respective EFL CEFA leagues and students creating excellent work on their course, it has been agreed that the partnership will continue, allowing Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence to further develop as a leading provider in sports education and competition.

Speaking about the partnership, Kevin Abbott, PNECET Chair of Trustees said: “Post-16 education is a programme that is really key to our operations and is one that we are very keen to continue to developing. The combined power of the Preston North End brand and the facilities at Preston’s College, will really benefit both parties going forward.”

Students who are enrolled at Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence also have the opportunity to take part in various work placements within the sports industry, allowing them to gain valuable, practical experience.

Simon Nixon, Executive Director of Resources at Preston’s College said: “Working collaboratively, to use the strengths of the two organisations to put together what we do, offers valuable opportunities to the Preston community. There are many work placements available, providing real insight into a career within the sports sector.”

Preston North End is synonymous with football in the North West of England, however, looking to future expansion and development of Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence, Sam McKenna, Preston’s College Head of School for Sport, said:

“The ambition is to become a centre of sporting excellence across a diverse range of sports. We are really well known for football and we would like to be known for other sporting successes. The ten year partnership affords ample opportunities to successfully do this.”

The women’s team and men’s A team both won their league titles during their first season. Speaking about the achievement and Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence, women’s team captain, Jenna Salthouse, said:

“We put a lot of hard work into it, it has been a tough year, but it feels nice to get the reward.

I have a passion for sport. I really love playing football and it’s something I’ve done since I was young. It’s let me widen my opportunities and horizons of what I want to do in the future and I feel like this was the best thing to do for me to get into sport”.

School leavers can study a Diploma in Sport and play in the EFL CEFA league alongside their studies by enrolling at Preston’s Centre of Sporting Excellence.

To express an interest in enrolling at the Centre of Sporting Excellence, please contact or visit

*Image credit – Ian Robinson/Preston North End.


Skip to content