Bournemouth University: BU and AFC Bournemouth announce tenth year of partnership

Bournemouth University’s official partnership with AFC Bournemouth is to extend into a tenth year, benefitting staff, students, supporters and the local community.

BU is the official higher education partner of AFC Bournemouth, with a particular focus on supporting the girls’ and women’s teams as their Principal Partner. Students benefit from working closely with staff and players at the Club, with opportunities for students to engage in supporting sport science, creating media, supporting the commercial team, working in the press office, and working with the Club’s Community Sports Trust on a variety of projects that support people in our local area.

BU’s men’s and women’s football teams are coached by AFC Bournemouth coaches and the university is also a keen supporter of the Junior Cherries, creating opportunities for young Cherries fans to get involved with university.

The two organisations have been working together for a decade, and each season one match in the AFC Bournemouth calendar is designated as the BU Big Match in celebration of the partnership. Last season’s BU Big Match, against Nottingham Forest, saw the Cherries promoted to the Premier League for the second time in their history, following a late goal from Kieffer Moore for a 1-0 win. This year’s BU Big Match will be the home clash against Everton on 12 November, just before the international break for the World Cup.

BU benefits from player appearances throughout the year – last year manager Scott Parker and midfielder Lewis Cook spoke to a gathered group of staff, students and members of the public to talk about positive mental health and resilience in sport.

The Cherries recently announced the expansion of the Club’s training facilities at Canford and, while work takes place, BU will host AFC Bournemouth’s Academy staff, led by BU graduate Sam Gisborne, on Talbot Campus, and work to actively support the Academy’s activity through the university’s expertise in sports science, performance and physiotherapy.

BU’s Chief Operating Officer Jim Andrews said, “We’re so proud to continue our support for our local football team into a tenth year as they play in the Premier League once again. The Club play such a positive role in the community, and we’re delighted that we can work with them to provide opportunities for our students, support the team on and off the field, and work for the benefit of the local community.”

Rob Mitchell, AFC Bournemouth Commercial Director, said: “Our relationship with BU has gone from strength to strength over the last decade and we are excited to continue our partnership as the club returns to the Premier League. We pride ourselves on our ability to unite the local community and working so closely with the town’s university to give a range of unique opportunities to students is a crucial part of that strategy. I am looking forward to another enjoyable year of working with BU’s staff and students.”