YOUNG rugby players are following in their World Cup heroes’ footsteps by starting on a new scholarship programme.
Nineteen of the region’s brightest prospects have enrolled on East Durham College’s Elite Sport Scholarship Programme which provides them with a package of benefits and support.
The students, who will train and study at the college’s Houghall Campus in Durham, will also receive expert coaching and guidance from the Rugby Academy’s coaching team.
They will study for a Level 3 Diploma in sport and also receive training in sports nutrition, performance analysis, sports science and psychology.
Centre Cameron Toole, 16, from Chester-le-Street, said: “I’m absolutely loving it.
“As well as the great training, I also get to do PE A-level alongside the BTEC Diploma.”
The programme is working closely with Durham University so the students get access to its coaches.
An 80-0 win against Whickham in the first round of the Daily Mail Cup was a great start – especially when the group of mostly 16-year-olds was competing in an under-18s tournament.
College principal Stuart Wesselby said: “The aim has been to create a scholarship that attracts and rewards the very best of the region’s young elite rugby players and provides them with an excellent opportunity to develop their sporting skills and performance – while still getting a qualification.”
East Durham College’s Elite Sport Scholarship Programme is holding a rugby taster day on Monday, October 24, at the Houghall Campus. Players who wish to enrol on the programme should be aged 16 or 17 on or before September 1, 2012, and must be at least county standard.