Talented young footballer, Jacob White from Downham, has won a scholarship to study and play at university in the United States.
White, 18, who has just completed two years on the successful Cambridge United and Cambridge Regional College Shadow Scholars programme, is off to Texas in August to follow his dream.
He is one of three scholars to win funded places at US universities after gaining distinctions in their two-year Sport Studies BTEC programme at CRC and developing into outstanding footballers through training and playing with Cambridge United.
Midfielder Jacob, of St Winnold Close, Downham, who also plays for King’s Lynn Town, said it was a great opportunity.
“I am looking forward to getting out there and focusing on football and enjoying the experience,” he said.
“When I got the chance to go to the US it was a no-brainer. It gives me the opportunity to further my education with a degree as a back-up if football doesn’t work out.
“I’ve been playing football with Cambridge United since the U8s and when I heard about the shadow scholars’ scheme with Cambridge Regional College I took it up straightaway. It has allowed me to learn and train with Cambridge United and given me this great opportunity.”
CRC lecturer Tom Hall, who heads the shadow scholars at CRC, said Jacob was an outstanding player and student.
“The Shadow Scholars programme is going from strength to strength and this is our most successful year yet, with great academic results for the students and exciting progression opportunities opening up for them,” he said.
“It is fantastic to have three students in one year winning scholarships to US universities and they thoroughly deserve it. They will be able to play football at a highly competitive level and gain a degree to open up lots of career doors.”
All three students are hoping for careers in football, and their degrees – studying subjects including sports science, physiotherapy and sports coaching – will allow them to work in sport as well.
Jacob will spend two years playing for Hill College in Texas in the Junior League before moving on to university for two years to complete his degree.
The Shadow Scholarship programme, which started with just 12 players four years ago, now has 16 in each of the two years and already has 18 signed up for the first year squad starting in September. Students study for a BTEC in Sport alongside high-level football coaching.
Former Lynn footballer Dom Dwyer followed a similar path to America and has now reached the USA national squad.