finance

Agency launches digital matchmaking platform for athletes and scholarships



Glasgow-based sports agency FirstPoint USA has launched a digital platform which matches young athletes with scholarships at US universities.

More than 2,000 universities and around 6,000 coaches have registered for the service ahead of the autumn 2020 round of scholarships. FirstPoint says that by launching a free service it has made places more accessible and affordable for many potential scholar-athletes who were previously required to pay service fees and faced costly travel to interviews. The company has invested a six-figure sum in the digital platform.

CEO and founder Andrew Kean, who benefited from a football scholarship at the University of Cincinnati in 1997, said: “The new FirstPoint USA digital platform is years in the making and has only been possible due to significant investment – but it is truly a game-changer. The current environment is clearly not without serious challenges but the beauty of this platform is that scholar-athletes can directly engage online with universities and colleges, who remain busy recruiting talent for 2020/21.

“For the first time ever, anyone can now access a scholarship via our new platform which brings the universities and colleges directly in touch with the user. This means more access for more athletes and for more coaches and the US universities are really buying into it – they are absolutely crying out for international talent for the 2020/21 academic year.

“FirstPoint USA can continue to provide various levels of service and support however this platform removes that barrier for those who may not be able to afford it. For 18 years we have successfully secured scholarships for thousands of talented individuals who have gone on to enjoy life-changing experiences – this platform means we can reach even more people with these opportunities.”

READ  Climate crisis: a world economic failure? Davos awaits Greta

FirstPoint was founded in 2001 to help young UK football players try out for sporting scholarships at universities across the US. It is now the exclusive recruitment partner of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), recognised byf the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) and works across the world including China, the UAE, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia.

The agency identifies talent through a network of scouts and agents who maximise likely candidates’ chances of interviewing and trying out for colleges and universities. It has placed 20,000 scholar-athletes who have included 2016 Masters golf champion Danny Willett and US PGA Tour player Russell Knox, from Inverness. Footballers, hockey players, track and field athletes and rowers have been guided into scholarships which have led on to sporting success and careers outside sport.

First Point says it is helping colleges and universities recruit for 30 sports which now includes cheerleading and esports.

Former Scotland and Aberdeen goalkeeper Bobby Clark, who became a successful college coach in the US, is ambassador for FirstPoint USA.

He said: “I don’t think any country gets the combination of academics and sport better than the USA. Through my more than 30 years of coaching college soccer in America I had players who ended up enjoying careers in in finance, medicine, teaching, law, coaching, and quite a few as professional footballers with two even making it into the English Premier League. The greatest thing they enjoyed was getting a degree while also playing the game they loved.”

READ  Apple and Tesla shares on the blockchain could be the next big thing in crypto



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply