Centres of Excellence

Blackburn College are proud to announce the launch of our brand new Centres of Excellence in Football, Basketball and Netball. These have been set up in conjunction with local semi-professional sport clubs to give our students the best possibility of gaining a well-rounded education alongside the chance to represent the college and associated club in their chosen sport.


Our Football Centre of Excellence is partnered with NW Counties Division 1 team AFC Darwen, and will be coached by first team coach Andrew Smith, who has experience playing professionally as well as coaching with Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Accrington Stanley.

Our Netball Centre of Excellence is partnered with West Pennine Netball Club, coached by All England Level 2 qualified Stephanie Wignall, who has played at county level for Lancashire.

Our Basketball Centre of Excellence is run by Danny Byrne, Coach for Lancashire Spinners as well as being a Sport Lecturer in UCBC. Danny who has coached for 12 years, has playing experience in the National Basketball League for the Plymouth Raiders.

All students who enrol on any course at Blackburn College can be a part of a Centre of Excellence, and have access to the following:

Bespoke Sessions

Including nutritional advice, psychological strategies and strength and conditioning programmes to improve performance

New-Sports-Centre1.jpgTraining Sessions

A minimum of 2 sessions per week with a fully qualified head coach covering all aspects of performance development

Player Development

Fitness testing in our very own Sport Science Performance and Testing Lab, including the development of personalised training programmes

Competitive Sport

Teams will have the opportunity to play for the college and their chosen team both regionally and nationally


Opportunity to play professionally in your chosen sport


Our Centre of Excellence has links with the NHS Physiotherapy department for injury diagnostic and rehabilitation programmes

Warm Weather Training

Subsidised trip to a warm weather training camp to develop fitness and technical elements

State-of-the-art Facilities

All students will have access to the best facilities locally in our brand new £13.5 million Sport and Leisure Centre, being built in conjunction with Blackburn Council including:

  • 2 Sports Halls
  • 80 station fitness suite
  • Aerobics Studio
  • 25m Swimming pool and Small rehabilitation/training pool
  • Sport Science Performance and Testing Laboratory

For more information please contact Matthew Hinchley on 01254 292408.