The pioneering GEMS Sports Academy, run by GEMS Education and based at Bradenton Preparatory School in Sports City, has been closed. Its closure came at the same time as the announced merger of GEMS Nations Academy with DAA at the end of the school year.
According to parents, students returning from spring-break received correspondence from GEMS management which announced the immediate closure of the unique programme designed to nurture elite sporting talent in the emirate.
GEMS Sports Academy was a unique GEMS offering. The programme utilised iCademy's US curriculum online learning platform.
Students were assisted in this by three learning coaches which allowed students to work around their professional sporting obligations.
A low teacher/student ration (1:12) and individualised learning strategies allowed academics on the programme to be condensed into three hours per day.
Students also received lessons in relevant subjects such as nutrition.
At the time of closure, it is understood that the programme was teaching around 35 of the country's top teen sporting talents.
Students regularly competed globally in their chosen disciplines, which included: golf, swimming, track and field, football, tennis and basketball.
The project was piloted at GEMS Wellington DSO, before being moved over to Bradenton Prep, chosen for its location in Sports City.
It is understood the programme had an agreement with Sports City management which allowed the students use of the top-class facilities for training.
GEMS has not made the reason for closure public, however WhichSchoolAdvisor.com thinks it could be related to licensing issues concerning both the programme and Bradenton Prep utilising the same school facilities.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has contacted GEMS Education regarding the closure, and is waiting for its official comment. We will update this story when it is received.