For the big chal­lenges

Academy to give a boost to women’s rugby league

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Widnes Vikings -

WIDNES VIK­INGS are to launch a new Fe­male Rugby League Academy which will be de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with Cron­ton Sixth Form Col­lege, housed in their Cen­tre of Sport­ing Ex­cel­lence.

The new pro­gramme will cre­ate a path­way for girls to gain an ed­u­ca­tion while hav­ing an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop their rugby skills at the col­lege and will launch in Septem­ber next year.

Af­ter a ground-break­ing year for the Vik­ings Women’s team, the part­ner­ship is de­signed to pro­vide girls with a clear path­way to the first-team.

It will also help the club en­hance their player pool for the 2020 sea­son as there are cur­rently no ama­teur or ju­nior girls’ teams in Widnes.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the Vik­ings Women’s team has al­ready seen 15 girls from the town play the sport for the first time, jump­ing straight into a com­pet­i­tive Cham­pi­onship di­vi­sion.

Last sea­son ended with back-to-back vic­to­ries over the top two in the league as the Vik­ings picked up home wins over Stan­ning­ley and Wake­field Trin­ity, un­der­lin­ing the progress made since their first fix­ture.

Vik­ings’ head of ed­u­ca­tion, Liam Clark, com­mented: “The launch of the Fe­male Rugby League Academy is a huge step for­ward for girls’ rugby league in Widnes.

“Our Vik­ings Women’s team have made bril­liant progress con­sid­er­ing they are the only team in the town that pro­vides girls with a chance to play com­pet­i­tive rugby league.

“This part­ner­ship with Cron­ton Sixth Form Col­lege will fur­ther en­hance that progress in the com­ing years and give the club a chance to pro­duce a larger pool of home­grown young tal­ent.

“On be­half of Widnes Vik­ings, I’d like to thank Cron­ton Sixth Form Col­lege for ex­tend­ing their part­ner­ship and pro­vid­ing their Cen­tre of Sport­ing Ex­cel­lence as a base for the pro­gramme.

“Girls on the pro­gramme will also gain an ed­u­ca­tion along­side their in­volve­ment in the academy, which falls in line with our ethos of pro­vid­ing young­sters with the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue to fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion or em­ploy­ment out­side of the sport.”

Pro­gramme area leader for sport at Cron­ton Sixth Form Col­lege, Mark Bren­nan, added: “It’s great to see the women’s game grow­ing and the path­way we have cre­ated in part­ner­ship with Widnes Vik­ings will give young fe­male ath­letes the op­por­tu­nity to study aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions along­side de­vel­op­ing their on-field per­for­mance.

“We are hop­ing that this path­way will be a cat­a­lyst for stu­dent ath­letes to de­velop skills that could take them to the 2021 World Cup or a cho­sen ca­reer that their study path will take them to.

“What­ever the stu­dent wishes to study, whether that be ‘A’ Lev­els or vo­ca­tional, we can en­sure they will have ac­cess to the Fe­male Rugby Academy. ● For more in­for­ma­tion on how you can get in­volved in the Fe­male Rugby League Academy pro­gramme, con­tact Mark Bren­nan via email at mark.bren­nan@Cron­ton.ac.uk

RLPix.com/Ste Jones & John Rush­worth

as­sis­tant to Paul An­der­son when Hud­der­s­field Gi­ants played there in 2016.

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