GC and All Golds launch county’s first rugby league academy
Gloucestershire College has joined forces with the University of Gloucestershire All Golds to launch the county’s first Rugby League education academy, which will open its doors in September 2016.
The partnership will enable aspiring young rugby players to gain qualifications whilst developing as athletes, as they study the full-time BTEC Level 3 Sport course at the GC Gloucester Campus alongside a timetable comprising training, strength, conditioning and matches against other colleges, schools and sixth forms – with some elements of training to be delivered by the All Golds coaches at the university’s Oxstalls Campus.
The University of Gloucestershire All Golds are the only professional Rugby League club in the world that is owned and operated by a university, and play in Kingstone Press League One, the third tier of the professional game in the UK.
The new academy will sit within a burgeoning talent pathway, adding to the successful Bristol Academy Bulldogs, the newly instituted All Golds Conference League South squad and the university’s existing student teams, in providing a route to the club’s professional side.
Will Merivale, Sports Academy Coordinator at GC, said: “This offers a unique opportunity to balance a quality education, training, strength and Rugby League-specific conditioning, with support from two fantastic Gloucestershire institutions.
“We will be part of a wider landscape as the sport grows in this area of the county. It’s a very exciting time here as we continue to support these new initiatives, following the recent announcement of the College taking ownership of the GC Blazers.”
The All Golds’ Talent Pathway Manager, Dan Garbutt, added: “The 16-19 programme at Gloucestershire College is a key part of our wider talent pathway strategy and offers a fantastic opportunity for young people across Gloucestershire to access a route through to professional sport.
“We’ve had huge success in producing players in our existing college links but a need existed for a site locally and Gloucestershire College are fantastically placed to support this programme”.
Those interested in finding out more about the academy can meet representatives from the All Golds at the Gloucester Campus Open Evening on Monday 25 January, from 5.30pm to 8.00pm. Visitors can pre-register for their place at www.gcopeneve.co.uk to skip the queues on the night.