Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies Appoint First Joint Director of Sport

Date: August 29th 2013

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Simon Funnell, Cricket Development Manager at Sussex County Cricket Club since 2008, has been appointed by Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies as their first joint Director of Sport.

Simon takes up the newly created role on September 5th, overseeing the development of all sports at both academies. He will work closely with both schools’ sports teachers to increase opportunities for all students to get involved with sport whilst developing programmes to support gifted and talented players.

Simon has been involved in his role at SCCC with the development of the Aldridge Cricket Academy (ACA) and the appointment of Alexia Walker, who recently became Sussex’s most capped player ever, as its Head of Cricket. The first students on the ACA’s integrated A-Level and cricket development 6th form courses begin their studies next week, and there is an Open Evening for those wishing to join next September taking place at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy on October 2nd.

Sir Rod Aldridge, chairman of the Academies’ sponsor the Aldridge Foundation said: “To have someone of Simon’s coaching and organisational ability on board is really exciting and will give our students opportunities across an increasing range of sports.”

“As part of the community focus of both academies Simon will be building links with neighbouring primary schools to assist them in the development of their coaching and refereeing / umpiring. He will also encourage the development of relationships with local clubs to provide additional opportunities for our students to play competitive sport. We are committed to further developing our campuses to support Simon’s work with us and to offer our communities and local clubs access to great sports facilities.”

Simon Funnell said: “I feel passionately that sport can conquer many prejudices, bringing communities and people together. With a strong sporting background and a fantastic rise in academic standards the Aldridge Academies offer excellent opportunities to all and I am really looking forward to working with the talented and dedicated team across both schools. My aim is to get more students playing and enjoying sport, and for both schools to produce county, national and international players in a variety of sports.”

Simon joined Sussex County Cricket Club as Community Coach in January 2000, becoming Cricket Development Manager in November 2008. He holds an MSc in Coaching from Loughborough University and has coached youth teams, in schools and universities in the UK and internationally.

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