Two hard-working former East Durham College sports students have returned to college to talk about their international sporting success.
Football-loving brothers Arjun and Amar Purewal, 26, from Sunderland, have made the sport their life, and since leaving the college in 2010 they have gone on to achieve remarkable things both with their business and with their skills on the pitch.
Twins Arjun and Amar, both studied BTECs in sport at the college’s Peterlee campus before staying with the college, to study Foundation Degrees in Sports Coaching.
As part of the degree they had to put together a business plan; from this they set up AP Coaching, a football coaching company that sees them going around schools and working within local communities in Sunderland to help train the up and coming talent.
Alongside their business the lads have been impressing in the lower leagues of the English Football League pyramid, with Amar scoring goals to help the reborn Darlington F.C to back-to-back promotions, whilst Arjun has recently joined Jarrow from Bishop Auckland F.C.
And the brothers have seen their hard work in the national leagues recognised at international level.
Earlier this year, Arjun and Amar both had the opportunity to represent the Panjab national team at the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (ConIFA) World Football Cup in Abkhazia.
This was the second ConIFA World Football Cup, which aims to build bridges between people, nations, minorities and isolated regions all over the world through friendship, culture and the joy of playing football.
And Arjun and Amar both put in some great performances, as the Panjab side narrowly missed out on the trophy, beaten by the home nation, Abkhazia, on penalties in the final.
Arjun won the golden boot as the top scorer at the competition, bagging seven goals.
Both are extremely proud of their achievements in football and thanked the college for helping them mould their business idea into what it has become today.
Amar said: “This has been a fantastic year for us.
“It was a huge honour to go to Abkhazia and represent the Panjab nation, even with the disappointment of losing out on penalties.
“We have both worked really hard in our football and business careers since leaving the college and we are really proud to look back now, six years later and seeing how far we have come.”
Arjun added: “It’s great to be able to get up every day and be doing something you love, whether it be playing football or going out and teaching children in the north east new skills in the sport we love.
“It’s amazing to think that the idea of AP Coaching came together at the college as part of our degree course and we are really proud to still be running this business today.
“Personally I have had some great times in football, especially with Darlington and having the opportunity to represent Panjab at the World Football Cup was an unbelievable experience.
“We will keep working hard and hopefully these opportunities on an international level will continue throughout our careers.”