Sandwell College student awarded professional contract with Warwickshire CCC
26th May 2022
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Photo caption: Sandwell College student Che Simmons (left) has been awarded a professional contract with Warwickshire CCC



A Sandwell College student has been awarded a first contract from Warwickshire County Cricket Club, after graduating from the Club’s Academy.


Che Simmons, aged 18, was awarded an Academy place last year, which he combines with his studies on Sandwell College’s Edgbaston Cricket Education Programme. Following his successful graduation from the Academy, he will now join the professional ranks on a three-year contract while continuing his studies at the College.


Last year, Sandwell College and Warwickshire CCC announced a new partnership to deliver a two-year further education course, in collaboration with the club’s official charity the Edgbaston Foundation. The programme is designed to support a career in professional sport, delivered from the iconic Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham.


Students taking part in the programme have the opportunity to learn and develop skills for a wide range of careers within the professional sports industry - from sports coaching and teaching to nutrition and sport psychology - as well as combine their studies with cricketing opportunities at the world class facilities at Edgbaston.

Che Simmons said: “Since starting at Sandwell College I have found the environment comfortable to learn in and the tutors do their best to support students and give the quality time needed to make sure everyone is up to date. I love how flexible and understanding the college is with my cricket, allowing me to play matches and train while studying. I would recommend the course to any young aspiring cricketer but also to anybody interested in cricket because of the world class professional environment here at Edgbaston.”


Scott Thomas, Head of Section in the Institute of Sport at Sandwell College, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Che has been awarded a professional contract with Warwickshire CCC. This is evidence of his hard work, unwavering dedication and natural skill as a fast bowler.


“We always wanted our partnership with Warwickshire CCC to provide the most inspiring of locations for our students to learn and prepare for a career in the professional sports industry - and it’s wonderful to see this come to fruition.


“Edgbaston is used regularly by the players of England, Warwickshire, Birmingham Bears and Birmingham Phoenix and it’s fantastic to see one of our students follow in their footsteps. Che is a real inspiration, a credit to the College and I’ve no doubt he has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. Che will continue his studies with us over the next 12 months and it is a privilege to support him during this time.”


Graham Pennington, Principal at Sandwell College, said: “We’d like to pass on our congratulations to Che for securing his first professional contract. This unique partnership with Warwickshire CCC has helped to create once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our students, and it’s wonderful that Che can fulfil his sporting ambitions.  


“As a college, we are committed to providing the best possible outcomes for our learners, in a supportive and inspiring environment, and I’m so pleased that this programme is delivering such fantastic results for our students.”


Students on the Edgbaston Cricket Education Programme will gain a BTEC Level 3 in Sports Coaching and Development equivalent to 3 A levels. The vocational course will cover modules across the two years, including sports tourism, marketing communications, sports psychology, technical and tactical skills in sport and more. No exams will form part of the assessments, which include written reports, portfolios, verbal assessments, presentations and practical observations.


Prospective students and their parents can learn more about the Programme at Sandwell College’s Open Days on Thursday 16 June (4-7pm) and Saturday 18 June (11am-3pm). For more information and to register your place, visit


For more information about the Edgbaston Cricket Education Programme, contact

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