Oldham College touches down with Oldham Rugby League Club

Date published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Oldham College’s Rugby Academy is partnering with Oldham Rugby League Club,ensuring that students benefit from top level training as well as professional progression routes.

This exciting collaboration between Oldham College and a professional sports club with its offer of excellence in sport and education cements the College’s high standing in sports and the sports offer for the Oldham community.

 On Saturday 1 March, from 9.30am until 11.30 at the Whitebank stadium, potential rugby students and their parents can attend a trial, where their technical and tactical abilities within the game will be assessed. Oldham Rugby League Club’s head coaches will attend this trial date as well as future sessions – dates to be announced. If successful at the trial, student rugby players who join the Academy will benefit from professional coaching by experienced RFL qualified coaches.

John Pietrzak, Oldham College’s Head of Sport, “With our Rugby League Academy, we have created an exceptional package for the borough’s community.  Working in partnership with Oldham Rugby League club we can offer excellence in coaching and work experience, whilst also offering outstanding education across numerous levels. This partnership provides access into the daily running of a professional club and therefore insight into the many different employment opportunities, not to mention the potential progress into the professional game. Oldham College completes this offer by providing a progression route to university through the Rugby League Scholarship scheme.”

 Chris Hamilton, Chair of Oldham Rugby League Club, said: “We’re really excited about working with Oldham College. As a club, we have a good track record for developing young players which for a club of our size is probably unprecedented in the game. This is another progression in terms of providing opportunities for players, particularly local players to be involved in a professional set up, receive schooling as well as utilise the expertise we have. It goes without saying that as a club we are very keen to work hard to develop the partnership to its full extent.”

 This new addition to the range of high quality courses on offer by Oldham College’s Academy of Sport will start in September this year. Starting at age 16, talented players will study in the region of 18 hours a week with training and coaching for the rest of the working week (9-5).

 Alun Francis, Oldham College’s Principal and Chief Executive said, “Our Rugby Academy follows in the footsteps of our well established and very successful Football Academy model. This innovative partnership will help to provide sports pathways into the industry as a whole. Our students will benefit from exposure to how the sport is run and gain an understanding of the business and operational side of the sport as well. This collaboration will bring work experience and employment opportunities within the fields of coaching, playing and stewarding. Our aim is to continue improving our offer and raising aspirations for the Oldham Community.”

 At the helm of the Oldham College squad is Steve Molloy, whose own career path has taken him to the highest points possible.  His professional playing career has stretched 17 years, during which time he has captained the England team on three occasions and had the responsibility of coaching players to an international level.

 Steve said, “Oldham College Rugby League Academy is going to be another professional highlight for me.  Oldham has a proud tradition of producing fine players and we hope to continue this through the Academy.  Those who we recruit will find themselves receiving the best coaching possible and enjoying the experience of training in a highly specialist environment.”

 Steve has had a passion for sport since he was a school boy, when at this early age he was first called up to represent his country.  He is now looking for new young talent to train and develop under his supervision to make rugby league their career.

The Academy has also received high profile endorsement from current England Captain Kevin Sinfield, who will be giving his full support to the vision it has for supporting the development of young sporting talent. An agreement is also in place to offer educational progression to university on a Rugby Scholarship – more details will be announced at a later date.

The Academy is currently recruiting students aged 16+ who will be coached and taught by Steve and his team.  The students will train three times a week and on top of this play in regular matches.

A variety of options to study alongside the course are available including Level 1, 2 and 3, which are all available at the College.  It is also possible to combine the course with employment.

Oldham College already collaborated with Oldham RUFC on a separate project last year where its Level 1 and 2 Painting & Decorating students helped to spruce up the club’s facilities – cleaning, preparing and painting 7 changing rooms and hallways. All the learners really enjoyed working on a real life project and gaining valuable experience for their future careers.

 To register interest in attending the trial on Saturday 1 March or for full course details, please visit www.oldham.ac.uk  or contact Peter Scrivens, Course Leader, Sport & Academy on T 0161 785 5445 or by email: peter.scrivens@oldham.ac.uk

 These types of associations reinforce the College’s ethos of providing a learning environment featuring industry standard facilities, links with businesses and preparing students for progression into employment and higher education.