My-main-goal-was-to-get-better.-I-did-not-necessarily-have-a-goal-of-signing-a-professional-contract-or-going-back-to-the-US-for-a-Division-1-school…-I-just-wanted-to-get-better.

IDA UK: A Parents Perspective

April 19, 2023

There is no better place to grow and develop, both on and off the field, than Football’s Home. The International Development Academy UK is located in downtown Reading where student-athletes reside in Hillside Court – a safe and secure student village with 24-hour surveillance, so IDA parents will be put at ease. At IDA UK, your child will be training a minimum of 12 hours a week and be competing in games weekly. There are over 100 matches played across all three of IDA’s UK teams.

We understand that sending your child away from home is a big step. At IDA, we want both the parents and student-athletes to be excited and comfortable with the new opportunities. Our highly qualified and dedicated staff prepares your family for a seamless and positive transition. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Charlicia Henry, mother of Malachi Henry, a member of IDA UK. She commented on the family’s decision to enroll Malachi in the Academy, “My son didn’t want to attend the traditional boarding football school, so based on his age and maturity, the academy setting seemed like the best route for him. He wanted the experience of living in another country and playing football. Sending him to IDA was good because the process was not complicated.”

Charlicia mentioned that the balance between football and academics was non-negotiable for them. Although soccer is our bread and butter, we equally value academics at International Development Academy. IDA carves out dedicated time for our student-athletes to prioritize their studies. We offer high school options for both US and UK curriculums as well as multiple college-level opportunities via partnerships. Our academic structure is designed to set athletes up for success. When asked how the academic experience has been for Malachi, his mom responded, “He has enjoyed the Academic experience because he likes the set-up of the academic program. He enjoys writing, and his tutor provides feedback and is willing to organize a Zoom call.” 

Playing in Europe is the pinnacle of any soccer players’ career. Opportunities arise for our players to train and enter into trials with professional and semi-professional clubs. Malachi Henry has been called up multiple times as Captain of the Bermuda Under 17 team. When asked how playing in Europe has helped her son, Charlicia said, “It’s more physical and faster, so he had to learn to adapt in order to improve his game. We joined IDA UK to have him develop so he can get scouted for a professional club.”

Since we are an international academy, keeping our student-athletes’ families involved is critical for us. Our Academies use 360Player, an online platform and app that shows updated schedules, video analytics, player assessments, and much more that allows parents to stay engaged. This feature is one that Charlicia commented on, “As a parent, I like the group chat with coaches and staff to keep me informed. Also, the videos of games, training sessions and Instagram updates.”

Learn more about opportunities at IDA UK and talk to a representative HERE. 

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