WASPS Rugby Club has partnered with a college in the birthplace of the game to launch a new rugby programme in Warwickshire.
The partnership with Rugby College, part of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group), will create opportunities for young rugby players aged over 16 to secure a college qualification while developing their skills on the pitch.
Players will study for a Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Sporting Excellence and Performance while also representing Rugby College in the British Colleges Sport League.
The course will include strength and conditioning workshops, training sessions and matchdays. It will cover health, wellbeing, nutrition, anatomy, physiology, sport massage and more units focused on professional sports performance.
The first cohort of student-players will be based at Rugby College while also accessing local facilities for strength and conditioning, training and competitive matches.
Students will be given opportunities to visit Wasps’ Elite Performance and Innovation Centre and home stadium Coventry Building Society Arena.
Wasps will also provide masterclass sessions for students and staff which will not be limited to the sports courses, and could include sessions such as Wasps’ head chef presenting to students on catering courses at the college.
There will also be work placement opportunities made available within Wasps to students across a variety of courses at the college.
Simon Philpott, Assistant Principal at Rugby College, said: “To be partnering with Gallagher Premiership rugby club Wasps on this programme is a major boost and the programme will give young people from across the region the chance to study and play the sport they love at the same time.
“The programme aims to motivate young people by combining sport and academic studies to maximise their potential.
“We have seen great success at Moreton Morrell College with the Leamington FC Academy and hope to mirror that success with this partnership with Wasps.
“The partnership will bring a wide range of benefits across a range of courses and departments at the college and we are now recruiting for the first cohort of students to join the associated new course.”
Kevin Harman, Head of Recruitment and Academy at Wasps, said: “This is the first time Wasps has entered into a partnership of this type and we’re looking forward to strengthening our relationship with WCG and Rugby College.
“There will be a number of opportunities from the programme away from the rugby pitch, from masterclasses and work placements, to special visits and career advice sessions.
“While the programme with the college won’t provide a direct pathway into our Wasps Academy set-up, we are always looking for excellent rugby players to join our academy and there will 100 per cent be a chance for students at Rugby College to show us what they can do.”