Sunderland's fast feet teams up with St Roberts of Newminster's for elite football training

Sunderland-based Fast Feet football academy will begin its first elite programme for sixth formers this term.

The company is bringing the chance to train potential football players, coaches and referees to St Robert of Newminster Catholic School and Sixth Form College at Washington – the first school to sign up for the two-year football-focused programme.

Fast Feet has been teaching football skills to youngsters from three to 16 years old since it set up eight years ago.

This new elite programme means that Fast Feet’s intensive approach to football training is now extended to up to 19-year olds.

St Robert’s has a thriving sixth form, which is already over-subscribed because of the quality of the teaching.

Fast Feet will complement the school’s academic studies with a practical and classroom-based two-year programme, which includes six hours of on the pitch football training, classroom sessions to review performance, the use of player analysis software, improve strength and conditioning, wellness, coaching and refereeing skills.

Mark Rutter of Fast Feet said: “This elite programme is for people who are already keen footballers, and want to learn more to improve their performance and understanding. It will enhance their CVs and provide a focused, intensive football-centred training to boost their physical and mental skills.”

David Bayne, Head of Sixth Form at St Robert’s said: "I’m looking forward to providing further student opportunities with this exciting initiative. The collaborative approach with Fast Feet Football Academy will enhance our highly successful sixth form and increase future prospects for our students."

Stephen Langstaff, head of PE at St Robert’s said: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with Fast Feet Football Academy. The team for St Robert's elite programme should provide an outstanding platform for pupils in both educational and sporting settings to maximise their talents.”

Currently around 300 youngsters, from three to 16 years old, are learning about the 130 skills and techniques taught at Fast Feet each week. Many hundreds more have built their confidence and technical skills since Fast Feet first opened its doors.

Fast Feet is looking at the possibility of extending the new elite programme to other schools. 

Mark said: “Our first priority is to focus on St Robert’s to ensure this programme is the best it can be. It’s an intensive job to put together such a programme, and we’re not going to rush to extend it because it has to be right from beginning to end.”

Fast Feet has grown steadily since it was set up.  The growth has all been word-of-mouth, and has led to youngsters coming from Darlington, Hartlepool and Northallerton to take part in coaching at Fast Feet venues in Chester-le-Street and across South Tyneside.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “In nurturing the talents of local youngsters, Fast Feet has built a strong reputation. The new elite programme offers footballing skills with classroom learning to boost the chances of potential footballers, coaches and referees. 

“It’s great that Fast Feet has been able to make a big difference to so many youngsters’ enjoyment and involvement in sport.  I hope the new elite programme enjoys the same success as Fast Feet’s well-established programmes for the under 16-year-olds.”

Success stories abound for past students of Fast Feet. Over 50 students are in and have been in professional academies between the ages of seven to 16.

More girls are taking part in Fast Feet coaching, and the academy offers girls’ only and mixed sessions, to suit the individual.

Find out more about Fast Feet franchises at Find out more about investing in Sunderland at

Further information from Christine Holland, Holland PR & Marketing Ltd. Tel 01670 790246 or 07711 698246.