Coleg y Cymoedd is delighted to be playing a part in boosting the Rugby League player pathway structures in South Wales. Wales Rugby League’s player performance pathway has gone from strength to strength in recent years; the provision of the Academy, its staff and resources will considerably improve the standards of the players at under 18’s level and into the future for club and international Rugby League in Wales. The launch of the new Rugby League Academy coincides with the Rugby League World Cup, with Wales playing Italy on the opening day of the tournament at the Millennium Stadium.
The Academy has been set up in partnership with Wales Rugby League, Wigan Warriors, Maesteg School and the college and will strengthen the sports growing popularity in South Wales. It will also provide Wales Rugby League with a new permanent base which will include office space, a state of the art gymnasium, all-weather training pitches and grass pitches.
WRL Chief Operating Officer Chris Thair said: “This is a significant day for ourselves as we are not only improving what we are delivering to our young performance players but we are also seeing the beginning of the sport developing a permanent base in South Wales. This represents a fantastic opportunity for ourselves and the players, in building a lasting legacy from the World Cup”.
“The number of partners that have assisted in making this happen has been immense and on behalf of WRL I thank them all in helping to set this up. Namely Skillsactive, European Social Fund, Welsh Government, Coleg y Cymoedd, Maesteg Comprehensive School, Innoved and Wigan Warriors RLFC”. The Academy has come to fruition through the commitment of all four partners to provide a sector leading environment for talented Welsh Rugby League players to develop both on and off the field, gaining educational qualifications, as well as being the only school in the United Kingdom to deliver the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme for Rugby League.
Andy Coley, Wales Partnership and Liaison Manager said: “We are delighted to see the Wigan and Wales link is strengthened further with the opening of the Academy. It will give the young players of South Wales a greater possibility of achieving success by following this pathway. Our staff ; Wales internationals Dave Clark and Jordan James are an integral part of the AASE Programme and will offer their experience in Coaching and Strength and conditioning to those on the course”.
Coleg y Cymoedd Principal, Judith Evans said ”This is a fantastic opportunity for young people in South Wales and we are delighted to be involved in this exciting partnership. Ensuring that young people have the opportunity to develop their sporting ability is a key priority for us”.