Loughborough College has teamed up with Williams Esports and Motorsport UK to deliver new opportunities in the Esports sector to budding drivers as part of a unique education partnership.
The nationally leading initiative will enhance Motorsport UK Academy’s performance pathway programmes delivered from Loughborough College.
Motorsport UK, the governing body for motorsport within the United Kingdom, has recently opened up its Academy programme, a broad structure for young talent to reach elite levels of motorsport, to include Esports drivers. Williams Esports will assist Motorsport UK with the identification of the drivers and will provide industry expertise and coaching. Loughborough College will in turn give greater structure with a dedicated qualification aligned to DiSE, the Diploma for Sporting Excellence, which can be followed alongside sporting commitments.
The partnership will form the Motorsport UK National Sim Racing Performance Centre supported by Williams Esports at Loughborough College.
Jo Maher, Principal and CEO at Loughborough College, said: “This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for the College to further strengthen our Esports pathway programmes by collaborating with the experts in the field, to benefit both staff and students alike.
“We prioritise using specialist driver coaching and simulators to improve talent, enabling students to transfer skills from Esports to conventional racing. We are already starting to see the success of this, with one of our students winning a race in the British F4 Championship this summer.”
Katie Baldwin, Motorsport UK Competitors Pathway Manager, added: “Esports is experiencing a massive surge in popularity, with more than 150 million users now registered on Discord. More drivers are now using it as a training tool, while also embracing it as a career. As a serious performance discipline, Esports needs structure to bring it in line with other motorsport pathways. We are confident that our Academy members will see marked improvement in how Esports can be lead to a successful career, while also adding a skill to drivers competing on track.”
Loughborough College is renowned for its specialism in elite sport education and performance and has been working with Motorsport UK for more than 10 years on its performance pathway programmes. The Leicestershire-based college has more than 2,500 learners on sport courses and has outstanding facilities including two Esport racing simulators.
As well as a collaboration of resources and knowledge, the partnership will position the sector as a responsible and sustainable career by focusing on sport psychology and educating learners on key topics such as nutrition and wellbeing. It will drive forward expertise and insight in a new and growing sector, including employment opportunities.
Each of the three partners will benefit from the project in their own areas, allowing drivers a wraparound experience of outstanding education, high quality facilities, industry expertise and leading coaching programmes.
Williams Esports is the professional Esports team of Formula 1 team Williams Racing. Williams Esports was formed in 2018 and represents internationally across competitive SimRacing, Gaming and modern-day education.