Edusport Academy is ready to thrive in Malta after launching its Football Academy at the Sliema Wanderers ground, at Tigne Point.
Founded in 2011, the Edusport Academy is a residential academy based in Glasgow, Scotland, with a team competing in the Lowland League – fifth tier – against the likes of Gretna (former Scottish Premier League team) and Spartans.
With a proven track record and a ten-year experience, Edusport Academy owner Chris Ewing has decided to take his project a step further and embark on the Maltese shores.
“The Edusport Football Academy will be the first of its kind in Malta, as we will bring 25 young French footballers to the island for one year to combine sport and education,” Ewing told the Times of Malta.
This project, supported by the French Embassy and several local clubs including Sliema, Balzan and Swieqi United, allows students to discover new countries and cultures while continuing their studies and growing in their sports.
Ewing, who hails from Scotland and lived in France for 17 years as well, was looking to take this project in a destination that would easily embrace the aim of Edusport Academy.
“I have been taking care of this project for the past 10 years and I have been looking around to see where I could implement this idea,” Ewing explained.
“Malta was the ideal place to start with because it has similarities with Scotland such as having an island mentality, relies heavily on sports tourism, the people are very welcoming and there is a huge passion for any type of sports.
At the same time, English is an official language in Malta and that obviously allows our students to practise the language as well.”
Asked about the objective of this Academy in Malta, Ewing explained that through football, the students will be having a 360 degrees experience on our islands.
“The idea is built on three pillars which include football, education and culture exchange as well,” he said.
“Football is a catalyst for the students to improve, but other than that, they will come over here for a life experience as well – besides learning the English language.
At the same time, sports can help them change their lives and at the same time do some good for the island as we look to cooperate with all local authorities –it’s important that everyone works together for a positive outcome and make sure this project reaches its potential.”
The French students will stay in Malta for a year but Ewing already has an eye on making this project a regular fixture in Malta.
“A few years back, I would have never thought that I would be taking my idea into another country and now that we have made this step, we will look to
In fact, Ewing has already a plan brewing about bringing students from other cultures and embark in other sports as well.
“We are also exploring the idea of doing it the other way round and taking Maltese students for an exchange as well, since we are collaborating with several local clubs,” Ewing said.
Ewing, who played professional football in Scotland at the likes of Stranraer and Dumbarton, after a spell at Motherwell’s youths, said that he is pleased to have opted to bring his project to Malta.
“I am very proud to have embarked on the Maltese islands, in particular, due to the rich history between the UK and Malta,” he said.
“Since I have been here, I have met nice people here and have received a lot of positive feedback about my project so I am really looking forward to seeing it pay dividends.”