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Abertay University footballers given chance to visit and train with Barcelona legends

Jennifer (on the left) and Philippa (on the right) in Abertay’s gym
Jennifer (on the left) and Philippa (on the right) in Abertay’s gym

Two members of Abertay University Football Club will embark on a trip of a lifetime to Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium this week to train with club legends and learn for some of the world’s top stars.

Club president Jennifer Burrows and women’s team captain Philippa Weber will travel to the Catalan capital on March 12 as part of Santander UK’s initiative to support female talent in their sporting and professional lives.

Jennifer and Philippa are two of a select group of women footballers at UK universities who will join a programme of events, tours and training designed to help build critical thinking and management skills.

The activities will kick off with a panel event on leadership with contributions from Maria Teixidor, board director and company secretary of Barcelona Football Club, along with top officials from Santader.

The group will then have the opportunity to benefit from a training session with former Barcelona and Chelsea star Albert Ferrer, who earned 36 international caps with Spain and won a host of top honours, including three European Super Cups.

They will also watch on as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and the rest of Barcelona’s superstar first team take part in the club’s vital round of sixteen tie against Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Champions League.

Professor Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, was delighted that two rising stars of the institution’s football team had been granted the “fantastic opportunity”.

He said: “Our partnership with Santander Universities is making a genuine difference for our students, and I’d like to thank them for their continued commitment to Abertay University.”

Emilio Botín launched Santander Universities in Spain in 1996, as a vehicle for business investment into its communities.  The programme now has over 1,200 University partners across 20 countries.

The initiative launched in the UK  in 2007 and now encompasses 84 universities, providing over £10 million of funding in 2018 alone.

Matt Hutnell, director, Santander Universities, said: “We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to top female football talent from across the UK to help develop their leadership skills, both within and outside a sporting context.

“We are committed to supporting higher education and we know that those selected for this programme are equally committed to their sport, investing hours into training and are an inspiration to their peers both on and off the pitch.

“We hope the trip will motivate and support female talent with their career ambitions – whether in the world of sport, finance or beyond.”

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