SRU partnership paying dividends for College students
A sporting partnership between Borders College, LIVE Borders and the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy (Borders & East Lothian) is currently seeing many young rugby players making great strides in Scottish rugby.
(Fraser Renwick, from Hawick, who currently plays for Scotland Under 20s. Photo credit: Scottish Rugby)
The Academy, which was launched 2 years ago, and its link with Borders College, is a partnership development where students, amongst other Academy players, are enabled to pursue and develop their passion for rugby alongside looking after their future career prospects both within and out with the sport. Players have the opportunity to find the optimal balance to achieve sporting and academic excellence whilst opening doors to a career beyond sport.
Chris Dewsnap, Manager at the Academy based at the Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels, says:
“A key reason for why this Academy exists is to support players into professional rugby, whilst at the same time recognising that they must have a back-up education, skills and alternative career path in place in the event that they do not succeed in their rugby career.”
The partnership between the SRU and Borders College is growing – a wide range of vocational and academic courses are on offer through the College, while the Academy supports players in their vocation as well as their rugby.
A number of Academy players, who also happen to be current students at Borders College but not only on Sports courses, are already involved with national ‘Unders’ training squads;
Apprentice Joiner Billy McNeil (Hawick Wanderers), Thomas Jeffrey (Peebles RFC) and Lucas Reid (Melrose Wasps) are all part of the Scotland Under 17s training squad.
Thomas Brown (Melrose Wasps) and Finlay Scott (Jed Thistle & Jed Forest) are both in the Scotland Under 18s training squad.
Andy Horne (Hawick RFC) is in the Scotland Under 19s training squad. Training beside him are Apprentice Electrical Engineer Robbie Yourston (Jed Forest), and Apprentice Joiners Gary Munro (Jed Forest) and Kyle Brunton (Hawick RFC) – all three of whom were selected for the Under 19s squad playing against ‘Scottish Students’ on Sunday 26 February.
And last but not least, there is Fraser Renwick (Hawick RFC) who has now played three games for the Scotland Under 20s squad against Ireland, France and Wales.
The Academy also supports females in rugby. Chris says:
“Although there are presently no female academy players (Lisa Thomson and Chloe Rollie are among past Academy players), we hope that going forward our support of and involvement in female rugby will continue to grow.”
Further Scotland ‘Unders’ squad selections are expected to be announced in early March. We wish our students and Academy players the best of luck and hope that many more players continue to have the opportunity to play for their national squads.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in Rugby alongside gaining vocational qualifications and skills, you can do both at Borders College. Visit www.borderscollege.ac.uk to find out more about our rugby course.
Published: Wed 1st Mar, 2017