Bath Rugby’s rapid development of their academy continues after they announced a new partnership with Weston College, which follows the partnership they launched with Beechen Cliff School in the summer.
Weston College were named College of the Year and Overall FE Provider of the Year at the 2015 TES Awards, and the move will see Bath Rugby actively support Weston College’s Junior Academies, one based in Weston-super-Mare and one in Clevedon.
The young players, aged between 11 and 16, will be able to benefit from the experience and knowledge of Bath Rugby’s internationally-renowned coaches.
The players will also enjoy the prestige and pride of wearing the Bath Rugby emblem on their kit.
For the club, the partnership represents an opportunity to tap into the rich vein of rugby talent in North Somerset, in the hope of finding some of the next generation of top-level players.
Paul Taylor, Weston College’s Sports Development and Performance Manager, said:
“I’m delighted that a club with such a prestigious sporting history as Bath Rugby has chosen to form a partnership with our top college. We both recognise that North Somerset is a real hotbed for rugby, with lots of talented girls and boys playing.”
“Together, Weston College and Bath Rugby can form a winning team which will bring many benefits to both organisations and, more importantly, to the young players.”
The partnership will also mean that Weston College’s own sports staff will be able to get involved in Bath Rugby’s player development programme, and the two organisations will also work jointly on a number of community projects.
Taylor said: “We have established a name for ourselves as one of the best colleges in the country; Bath Rugby have been at the top of their game for many years, so it seems only fitting that these two prestigious organisations should join forces.”
Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, said:
“This partnership brings together two of the very best organisations in their respective fields, and that can only be a win-win situation for all involved.”
“I look forward to seeing how our students and our staff will be able to develop and benefit from the expertise that they will now be able to tap into at Bath Rugby. As a rugby fan, I am thrilled that a club with the pedigree of Bath has chosen Weston College as a partner; it’s a great result.”
Bath Rugby’s Academy Director Danny Grewcock said: “The development of young people is at the heart of Bath Academy’s objectives and the partnership with Weston College is another avenue to assist this programme in Somerset.”
“Bath Academy is looking forward to supporting the rugby programme at Weston, which is already part of a high-achieving academic and sporting environment.”
The College already has an excellent rugby pedigree, with Ulster’s Dan Tuohy among their alumni, and with this new partnership, that pedigree is only set to grow.