ELITE Pathway

Applications for the ELITE Pathway 2023-24 are now closed. 

The Laurus Trust ELITE Pathway provides the guidance for aspirational athletes to achieve their academic potential and sporting dreams. 

Students will develop a holistic understanding of the contributing factors of elite sport, which include balancing the demands of sporting excellence and academic success. We will work with key partners who will support the creation of the invaluable experience of living, training and learning like a professional student-athlete.

Schools in the Laurus Trust already have a strong reputation for being unashamedly academic, and having uncompromising standards. Through our partnership with Loughborough University we now intend to replicate our academic success in sporting stadia.

The Laurus Trust is the first ever educational trust ever to be partnered with the world-renowned Loughborough University.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities with unrivalled achievements in sport, an international reputation for research, excellence in teaching and strong links with industry.

As a 5* QS rated university, it has been named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the world university rankings.

In addition to the work with our student-athletes, Laurus Trust GCSE and A Level students will have the opportunity to access Loughborough University’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Course Overview
  • Dedicated member of staff in each school
  • Weekly strength and conditioning sessions 
  • Fortnightly academic catch-up sessions 
  • Access through an app which will support the development of an elite athlete
  • Visits to the University of Loughborough and Nuffield Health, the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance 
  • Group and bespoke parent and student psychology sessions
  • Working with expert partners in academia, nutrition, strength & conditioning, mental health and recovery
  • Specialist seminars 


Eligibility Criteria

What level of sport does my child need to be playing at to apply?

As each sport has different pathways for player/athlete progression, we look for students playing at a regional, national and international level. We acknowledge that each sport is different so each application will be taken at merit*.


Cricket: Lancashire / Cheshire County

Netball: Manchester Thunder pathway or a leading regional club

Tennis: A high LTA rating

Rugby: Sale Sharks / Salford Red Devils

Swimming: National time or a leading regional club

*Please Note – Students must also be dedicating a significant amount of time outside school to training and competing.

Playing at any of these levels is not a guaranteed entry onto the ELITE Pathway – a number of other factors such as attendance, behaviour, volume & standard of applications received are also taken into consideration and each application will be given full consideration on its own individual merit as places are limited.

All eligibility criteria are stated above, we regret that we are unable to respond to individual emails enquiring about eligibility or advising whether it is worth you applying or not, if you meet the criteria as outlined above, we would encourage you to make an application, however this alone will not guarantee entry onto the ELITE Pathway. If you are unsure, it may be worth talking to your child’s PE teacher who can make recommendations on whether the pathway would be suitable or not.

What sports are eligible for the ELITE Pathway?

The Application for entry onto the ELITE Pathway is open to all students regardless of the genre of sport played.

Any sport will be considered from more traditional sports such as Athletics, Swimming, Football, Rugby Netball, Dancing, Lacrosse and Cricket to less traditional sports such as Skiing, BMX Biking, Karate / Judo, Kickboxing, Climbing, Table Tennis, weight lifting Cheerleading and Ice Skating.

How do I apply?

The application form for 2023 – 2024 will open the week beginning 4th September. An email will be sent with all the necessary information and a link to an online form. The link will be closed at 9am on 15th September.

How many students will be accepted onto the ELITE Pathway?

Numbers will fluctuate each year, there is no maximum nor minimum.

If my child is successful, will they remain on the programme throughout their time within the Trust?

No. Each September, parents will reapply for their child’s place on the ELITE Pathway – circumstances change, your child may have given up the sport, the pathway might not be suitable or your child may choose not to continue on the pathway.

How does the ELITE Pathway work alongside schoolwork?

The ELITE Pathway is for students that dedicate a significant amount of time outside of school to training and competing. Whilst there are a number of trips per academic year, Loughborough University and Manchester Institute of Health & Performance (MIHP), not a huge amount of lesson time is disrupted in school hours.

Strength & Conditioning sessions are available to students before school on selected days per week. There will be academic catch-up sessions fortnightly and a dedicated member of staff at each school.

If my child is unsuccessful, will they have an opportunity to reapply?

Yes. We recognise that young people develop at different rates; we will continue to assess all Laurus Trust students in sport. Each September the application process will reopen for all students, even those who have previously been on the pathway.

Is there a fee to gain a place on the ELITE Pathway?

No. This initiative is fully supported and funded by The Law Family Educational Trust.

When will I hear if my child has been successful on the ELITE Pathway?

You will hear if your child has been successful roughly two weeks after the application has closed. A decision letters will be sent out shortly after to confirm your child’s place.