The Rugby League Academy at Coleg Y Cymoedd will soon transfer from Wales Rugby League to South Wales Scorpions, in alignment with all the other category 3 academies in the UK which are all linked to professional clubs.
Wales Rugby League’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Thair said: “Wales Rugby League put a lot of time, energy and resource into establishing the BTEC programme at Coleg y Cymoedd and now it is up and running we pass the partnership on to the Scorpions with our best wishes.
“We hope this will strengthen the programme at the college as they utilise the resources of the Scorpions and it will enhance the quality of player and the pathway structures at the Scorpions. WRL wish to empower clubs to be stronger and more sustainable entities and this transfer should do just that.
“We are already in positive discussions to establish a new college programme in Flintshire and Wrexham that will benefit the North Wales Crusaders, and have held preliminary discussions with colleges in Cardiff and the West Wales area, all of which aligns to our national strategy.
“Our strategy recognises that WRL has insufficient funding to centralise all the performance programmes and rationalises how educational partnerships maximise our resources that will fulfil WRL objectives.
“Two relating aims from the national strategy are to create stronger clubs and have a wider pool of full time professional players in the system. The South Wales Scorpions management remain supportive of the latter and youngsters from the college will continue to trial with Super League clubs if they show suitable potential”.
“Coleg y Cymoedd have been fantastic partners to the sport in Wales since 2013 when we ran the Rugby League AASE programme together. From this original group of players a number have gone onto playing a good standard of rugby league. Three have played in the Welsh Conference for Cardiff City and Bridgend Blue Bulls, four have played in the Conference League South for West Wales Raiders and Torfaen Tigers, three have played for South Wales Scorpions and one is now fulltime in the St Helens first team squad and made his debut for Wales last year. That was a great mix of graduate which benefited all sectors of the sport and we hope this will continue into the future.”
South Wales Scorpions director Marc Lovering said: “Wales Rugby League did a great job in working with Coleg Y Cymoedd to establish the Academy. Such Category 3 Academies need to be linked with a professional club and at the time it effectively was as WRL owned the Scorpions. That is obviously no longer the case so all parties felt now was the time for the Scorpions to become involved and reinforce the pathway to professional Rugby League.”
Tony Frewell, The RFL National Player Development Manager said: “Category 3 Academies are a key aspect of the talent pathway by developing talent over a longer period of time and crucially doing this in a dual careers environment. By combining athletic progress and academic development, this will produce a better player feeding into South Wales Scorpions and a player better prepared for the world of work at the same time.
“This is great news for the sport in South Wales and the young people engaging”.
Coleg Y Cymoedd Rugby League Academy students will be able to study BTEC Level 1, 2 or 3 qualifications and/or A Levels alongside a rigid Rugby League programme. If you are interested in any of the educational programmes at Coleg Y Cymoedd please contact Mark Jones on 07886 654933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org