Rugby partnership reaches new league
Calderdale College and Halifax Panthers’ partnership has levelled up after a successful four years of the Rugby Academy.
The Calderdale College Rugby Academy launched in 2019 and has since trained more than 150 young male and female athletes, providing a pathway into the first team. Students have the chance to follow in the footsteps of Halifax Panthers’ player William Calcott, a former college student and Rugby Academy member, who now has a regular place in the first team squad.
To expand this partnership, The Shay stadium, which is home to the Panthers, will open its doors to all aspiring sports industry professionals at the College, to experience first-hand the range of roles involved in operating their local rugby club. From front of house hospitality positions to joining the media team, students across the curriculum will be invited to apply for work placements to develop their skills in a professional setting.
Developing partnerships with the local community is a crucial part of Calderdale College’s new Strategy. The College is dedicated to creating an education environment that meets the needs of students and local economy to ensure it is shaping the future of young people, whilst addressing key skills gaps.
Speaking of the success of the Rugby Academy, David Malone, Principal and Chief Executive at Calderdale College, said: “Our Halifax Panthers Rugby Academy has gone from strength to strength over the last four years. The students are able to develop themselves, both as a player and professionally, and we don’t just support them in their rugby development, this partnership is helping them discover their next steps after college. Recently our former student, Charlie Bahan, secured a plumbing apprenticeship with Joe Martin, who retired from Rugby League back in November 2022.”
This year, the College introduced a Women’s Rugby Academy which now has 20 students.
David added: “The first year of our Women’s Academy has been hugely successful, with one student being selected to take part in the England Rugby League’s Diploma in Sporting Excellence, alongside her place at Calderdale College. The students are getting real access to first team training, with current Halifax Panthers Women’s player Kara Colvin supporting the delivery of our academy programme. Kara has been instrumental to this year’s success.”
Working with the Halifax Panthers to offer new opportunities for the College’s students will give them a real insight into working in the sporting industry.
Dave Grayson, Chairman at the Halifax Panthers, added: “Partnering with Calderdale College is immensely important for the Panthers. The College is shaping our next generation, and at the club we have such a range of roles that need those skilled workers.
“We want to support our local community as much as we can, and Calderdale College have a diverse student body from every corner of Calderdale which will help us achieve this more than ever.”
To find out more about the Rugby Academy at Calderdale College, visit: www.calderdale.ac.uk/inspire-centre/development-centres/