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The University of Southampton

Santander supports Southampton women’s football captain in getting ahead(er)

Published: 12 March 2019
Georgia Cooper
Georgia Cooper, Captain of the Southampton Women’s Football Team, is headed to Barcelona's Campu Nou

Georgia Cooper, Captain of the University of Southampton Women’s Football Team will embark on a trip of a lifetime to Barcelona’s legendary Camp Nou stadium as part of Santander UK’s initiative to support female talent in both their sporting and professional lives.

Originally from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, Georgia is studying Criminology with Psychology at Southampton and is now one of a select group of leading footballers from women’s football clubs at UK universities who will join a programme of events, tours and training this week (12-14 March).

Georgia first tried out for football in support of a friend who was nervous but has since gone on to play for Bedwell Rangers in Stevenage as well as Bishop’s Stortford and the Hertfordshire County side before playing football at University. After stepping up to help last year’s captain at Southampton, Georgia was elected at the start of this season as skipper in her own right.

The trip to Barcelona, organised by Santander Universities, is designed to help build critical thinking and management skills for female talent, both through sporting and wider leadership activity.

“This is such a great opportunity – it’s almost too good to be true,” enthused Georgia who has been playing football since the age of 10. “I’m mostly looking forward to the training aspect of the trip to Barcelona, and it will be great to take some skills from the experience to transfer to the team when I come back, like what they do and how that can help us.”

Georgia’s activities will kick off with a panel event on women’s leadership led by senior executives from Barcelona FC, Banco Santander and Santander UK.  She will then have the opportunity to benefit from a training session with Chapi Ferrer, professional football coach and ex-player of both FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC. In addition, in celebration of Santander’s sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, Georgia will watch Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and their Barcelona team mates play in the club’s vital round 16 tie against Olympique Lyonnais at the Camp Nou.

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities, said “We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to top female football talent from across the UK to help develop their leadership skills, both within and outside a sporting context.  We are committed to supporting higher education and we know that those selected for this programme are equally committed to their sport, investing hours into training and are an inspiration to their peers both on and off the pitch. We hope the trip will motivate and support female talent with their career ambitions – whether in the world of sport, finance or beyond.”

The University of Southampton has been a Santander partner university since 2008. The programme now has over 1,200 University partners across 20 countries including 84 in the UK with an emphasis on education, entrepreneurship and employability through scholarships, internships and other activities aimed at giving all students the opportunity to succeed.

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