Huddersfield Giants have confirmed that they have launched an RFL Tier 3 Academy in partnership with Huddersfield Elite Sports Education Academy.
The Rugby League Development Programme will launch in September 2017, and is set to offer young people a way of combining training and playing rugby league in a professional environment, with receiving a wider education.
The students will represent Huddersfield Giants in the College Rugby League, and are also set to benefit from an elite player development programme consisting of weekly training sessions, strength and conditioning and competitive fixtures, all under the leadership of highly qualified rugby league coaches.
Alongside the player development programme the students will study the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport Performance and Excellence.
This two-year qualification is the equivalent to three A-Levels, and provides education in related disciplines, such as physiology, psychology, nutrition and fitness testing.
Principal James Mahoney is delighted with the launch of the project.
“We are very excited to announce the introduction of the Rugby League Development Programme in partnership with Huddersfield Giants,” he said.
“The Scholarship will give young players the chance to study a full-time academic qualification, whilst also developing themselves as rugby league players.
“At Huddersfield ESEA we place a huge emphasis on creating a professional environment for young people to succeed both on and off the pitch.”
Giants Head of Youth Andy Kelly added: “I am excited by the development programme. It has a natural fit and sits parallel with what we are trying to achieve.
“Rugby league is notoriously a late development sport and what we are allowing for here is players who have not quite got there yet and who maybe deserve a second chance.
“From a performance and academy point of view it gives us a chance to work with more players and monitor their progress.
“There are some good examples throughout the game at the moment of people from other clubs who have actually come from the Category 3 element of the game into the academies and into Super League rugby.
“”Connectivity is really important so having the performance players alongside development programme players in the Education Academy is going to be an incentive for each to mix and aim to bridge the gap.”