Introduced in 2018, the Community and Education Football Alliance League (CEFA) is a football competition run for Club Community Organisations and is eligible to both young men and women who are enrolled on a post-16 education course with their Club Community Organisation (CCO), offering students competitive playing opportunities in a league that is professionally governed by the EFL.
One club that enjoyed success last season was Swindon Town FC Community Foundation, who were delighted to finish the 2018/19 campaign win two EFL CEFA league titles, with both the first-team and second-team winning their respective leagues.
This season has seen the programme go to another level, with the Wiltshire side currently on course to win three league titles, as well as reaching the Boys National Area Final and the Girls National Area Final at Hillsborough Stadium.
As we know with the CEFA League however, it’s not just about the football, and Swindon Town FC Community Foundation, alongside their education partner Commonweal School & Sixth Form, have been running a range of A-Level and vocational courses for the past four years, and students have experienced success on all fronts.
Jason Hillis from the Commonweal School & Sixth Form said: “From a sport and physical education viewpoint, our Sixth Form students have improved year on year in their results, with this year’s cohort of A-Level students looking to achieve their target grades.
"Our vocational students are also exceeding academic expectations, achieving high A-level passes last year. It was a pleasure a few weeks ago to hand out some excellent exam results to our Cambridge Technical students who completed their January modular exams. These results were a testament to their hard work both on and off the pitch”
For those looking to the football industry for a future career, the programme has seen the students complete their FA Level One and Two badges, with many now working for the Community Foundation in numerous roles - from coaches and referees, to receptionists at the brand new Foundation Park Sports Hub.
Shane Hewlett, Assistant Head of Swindon Town FC Community Foundation also said: “We are also looking forward this summer to sending a number of our students off to university both in the UK and the United States on Scholarships through the links we have developed over the last 4 years.
"Some of last season’s students are now finishing their first and second years at college in the States; Mia Mugford and Sophie Roberts are two former students who currently study at Meridian Community College in Mississippi, Elle Scott studies at Missouri Valley College in Missouri and Jamie Boam and Marc Whyte are both at New York state.
"This year we say goodbye to Ben Paul who will head off to Tomas University in Georgia and Lani Dickinson who heads off to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.”
Despite the current season being postponed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, competition success across the board has seen an increase in teams registered and taking part for the 2019/20 season, with almost 100 teams now competing across 12 different divisions.