Featherstone Academy insist they will continue to deliver rugby league in the school, despite a petition stating otherwise.
Earlier this week, Featherstone Rovers slammed Featherstone Academy for turning their back on their traditional rugby league roots and changing to a rugby union playing school.
A petition was made to prevent the change and Rovers gave their full backing to the campaign, but the Featherstone school has responded to the accusations and insist that rugby league will still be played.
Featherstone Academy’s Head of School has released a statement regarding the petition.
It read: “We are very proud of our traditions as a local community with one of those traditions being Rugby League. I was extremely surprised and disappointed, first of all to see the petition regarding the Academy banning Rugby League and only delivering Rugby Union, and then secondly to read the statement supporting the petition by Featherstone Rovers. At no point have I, as Head of School at The Featherstone Academy, or any of my teaching or support staff said we are banning or stopping Rugby League.
“We have had a strong relationship with Featherstone Rovers who have been amazing in helping deliver Rugby League and leadership programs. Only last month we agreed to continue and build upon this with help from local players such as Jamie Jones-Buchanan. Phil Gostling (Director of Rugby and Netball for the RMAT) has met with Amy Hardman on a number of occasions and is working closely with the club to develop and enhance our Rugby package.
“Within The Rodillian Multi Academy Trust we have vast experience and have achieved great success with our Rugby Union sides. However, we want to provide an opportunity for our students, both Boys and Girls, to play and experience both codes, we work very closely with local clubs in all our Academies to ensure students have pathways to progress.
“Our close links with the Rhinos in Leeds has been invaluable in the growth of our Rugby package and is something we want to keep developing here at Featherstone with the Rovers.
“I am very proud to announce that we have the former Assistant Head Coach of the Leeds Rhinos, Barry Eaton, joining the Featherstone Academy staff this week to help work with our students both at a pastoral level and sporting level. These don’t seem to be actions of an Academy that wants to ban Rugby League.
“We are constantly looking to develop and enhance all areas of our curriculum and extra-curricular activities and will continue to work alongside our community partners to give our students the best opportunities possible.”