The inaugural Cambridge United Summer School is taking place in Cambridge this summer, giving a lucky group of students a truly unique learning opportunity.
The Summer School, which started on 15 July and will run to 5 August, capitalises on the natural symbiosis of sport and leadership, and has been developed by Cambridge United Football Club in partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS).
Cambridge United, who play their EFL Sky Bet League Two matches just outside Cambridge city centre, have vast experience in developing the leadership potential of young footballers, and have now transposed this knowledge into an all-encompassing personal development programme. Cambridge Judge Business School have been heavily involved throughout; a group of MBA students assisted the U’s (as United are known locally) in conducting extensive market research as part of their Cambridge Venture Project, and a second group of Cambridge MBAs has designed (and are delivering) the classroom-based portion of the programme.
This year the 34 visiting students, all aged between 12 and 17 and from China, will enjoy a variety of activities alongside educational aspects of the programme. As well as experiencing all the cultural and historical enrichment that Cambridge has to offer, visits to London and Oxford will ensure that the students return to China with an enhanced understanding of the UK along with enhanced leadership skills.
Professor Christoph Loch, Dean of the Cambridge Judge Business School, said: “Participation in sport can significantly aid the development of character and leadership skills in young people. Football is a performance-oriented team activity and therefore requires determination, persistence, and social collaboration skills. In addition, performing well in a team sport demands decisiveness, organisational aptitude, and self-discipline, which are all important attributes of effective leaders – leadership can be cultivated naturally through sport. Therefore, the Cambridge United Summer School programme effectively develops leadership skills by combining practice of the sport with leadership lessons.”
Jez George, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge United FC, added: “Our philosophy for the development of young players recognises that football has the power to transform characters and personalities. This programme allows our coaches to place a rigorous focus on the specific skills developed in the leadership workshops delivered by Cambridge Judge Business School, so that progress made in the classroom is reinforced on the pitch. The students who gain access to the Cambridge United Summer School will benefit from a unique partnership of diverse expertise and an unparalleled personal development experience.”