“It’s led me to where I am today.”
That’s how Chichester City captain Connor Cody describes the role Chichester College has played in his career – both on and off the pitch.
The centre-back studied at the college around five years ago, first an advanced business diploma before completing a level 3 personal training qualification.
Alongside his studies, Connor was also carving out a solid foundation in football – playing for the college side as well as representing his country in the England Colleges side.
He said: “The college was fantastic. I did the business course because it was something I knew I wanted to have under my belt, but I really enjoyed my fitness qualification.
“It has led me to where I am in my career today – owning my own gym. I left the college and went to work at Nuffield, worked in Australia for three years in exercise science before coming back and opening a gym – it’s all come from that qualification and that grounding.”
Connor opened his gym, Active45, at the Tim Peak Sport Centre in November 2018, which is growing in success – something he’s also enjoying on the pitch as captain of Chichester City.
The team hit national headlines when they reached the second round of the FA Cup, receiving a bye to the second round following Bury’s removal from the competition.
It put a spotlight on the side, who play in the Isthmian League South East Division, although they were unable to overcome Tranmere in the clash.
Connor is one of eight players in the City team who studied at Chichester College, and the contingent are joined by coach Darin ‘Dabba’ Killpartrick, who is a lecturer in coaching at the college and has been an integral part of the football programme for the past 17 years.
“It’s funny how we’ve all come back together at the club after going our separate ways,” Connor laughed. “We’ve all done different things, played football elsewhere but now we’re back together and I think that makes it more special.
“When I was at college, it was a big deal to progress up to the local clubs and it means a lot for us to do that.
“Some of my best memories of the college are playing football and those Wednesday afternoons, being part of the team.
“I have to be honest, the football and the coaching here was a big pull for me in coming to the college.
“There are some excellent coaches here and the coaching I got here has been a big part in the football I play today."