Calderdale College kicks off Halifax RLFC youth academy partnership

Halifax RLFC, in partnership with Calderdale College, has officially launched its Under 19s Academy at the Toronto Wolfpack match on 24th March.

Available to students starting at the College this September, the new Academy will be the only official pathway to the Halifax RLFC’s first team.

The new Academy will train and play every week to develop their rugby skills and study theory to build on their knowledge of sport and fitness. The team will be located at Halifax RLFC’s training base at Calderdale College and be led by Halifax RLFC Captain Scott Murrell.

The partnership launched with a performance from Calderdale College’s Music Technology student and The Voice contestant, Callum Butterworth, who sang in the stadium before the game and at half time.

John Rees, Principal and Chief Executive of Calderdale College, said: “The new partnership with Halifax RLFC will provide our students with an outstanding sport education programme that gives them the chance to play for their local professional team. Many of our students have already gone on to secure contracts at high profile clubs and I’m confident that this initiative will create even more opportunities into the world of professional sport.”

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The new Academy will also offer a unique pathway for prospective players to launch a career within the construction and associated trades industry, by allowing students to study for and gain a qualification in a trade of their choice – the only sports education programme in the country delivering such a route.

By offering a trade route the programme prepares players for a career beyond rugby. As well as the trade pathway, players will also have the option of studying a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport Coaching, Development and Fitness.

Speaking about the Academy, Halifax RLFC First Team Coach, Richard Marshall commented: “When I came to Halifax RLFC in 2014 I had a vision of this club providing and creating opportunities for local players to play for their hometown club, and to enable that process we needed a clear pathway to the first team. Our reserves, funded by the Supporter’s Trust, were a big part of this. Beneath that we needed an Academy programme to enable players’ development at 16-19 years old.

“With all three grades now using the fantastic facilities at Calderdale College’s Inspire Centre, there are great synergies between the teams and we all play around the first team’s values and structure, which facilitates progression through to the first team as players understand our structures.”

As a Tier 3 Academy, players will benefit from the opportunity to play in the Elite College’s League, as well as opportunities to progress to Halifax’s first team, following in the footsteps of former Calderdale College student and current Halifax RLFC first team player Will Calcott.

Players interested in learning more about the Academy are invited to visit the next Open Training Session Friday 26th April 11am-2pm at the College’s Inspire Centre campus, Francis Street, HX1 3UZ. To register interest in attending the event, email: academy@halifaxrlfc.co.uk