Leeds Rhinos have launched a Rugby League partnership between Oldham Sixth Form College and Leeds Rhinos Foundation – the official charity of the Super League club.
The programme has been developed to allow 16-18-year-old learners to combine their academic studies at the college, while also taking part in the Rhinos’ rugby league performance programme and pathway.
This enterprise will provide the perfect opportunity for community players with a desire to progress into a high-quality academy. Students, both existing and potential, studying a range of subjects at the college will be able to access the programme.
The first year of the partnership will consist of rugby coaching as well as working with local amateur rugby clubs to grow the provision in Year 2 and becoming an established Rugby League Development Academy.
There are many facets of the academy, including group strength and conditioning sessions, video analysis and nutrition, all based at the Oldham Sixth Form College. Students interested in enrolling on the programme will be able to attend a launch evening which will be held at the beginning of the next academic year.
Christopher Arnold, Assistant Principal at Oldham Sixth Form College, commented: “We are extremely pleased and excited to be working in partnership with Leeds Rhinos Foundation, which will provide further high-quality sporting opportunities for the young people of Oldham.
“As a proud rugby league town, we will be able to combine outstanding academic achievement with the opportunity to play rugby at the college as part of a well-structured programme, with the aim of providing the best career opportunities both on and off the rugby field. With Kevin Sinfield as an ex-student and a member of the Trust, we anticipate the partnership being a great success for all those involved.”
The Leeds Rhinos legend and Oldham native Sinfield is delighted to be supporting this exciting new venture with Oldham Sixth Form College, and recognises that it will provide more playing opportunities and further the development of players in Oldham and the wider region.
He said: “Adopting professional practice from the Leeds Rhinos Academy set up, this partnership will provide a pivotal pathway that retains players in the game and allows students to learn from this great club and its coaches, whilst in no way hindering their academic ambition”.
Ian Hardman, Rugby League Development Coordinator at Leeds Rhinos Foundation, added: “I’m delighted that we have agreed a partnership with Oldham Sixth Form College to help raise the profile of Rugby League within the town.
“We are aware of the huge enthusiasm for the sport there is in the town and through our experience we know it’s a real hot bed of rugby league talent. The community club scene is really thriving in Oldham, so what we are looking at is provide more playing opportunities and an alternative to those players who maybe haven’t been signed onto Scholarship programmes at professional clubs by providing more playing opportunities and high quality coaching provision for 16-19 year olds alongside their studies.”