Rugby Academy Partner School

Ellesmere College has always had an outstanding reputation for sport. Rugby in particular has always been very successful and this week the College has had the exciting news that it is to be a regional rugby academy. This will enable the most talented local players to receive top quality coaching, and an excellent academic education as well as being part of the England Rugby Football Union structure. Players will have a chance to develop and participate in rugby right up the highest level. Ellesmere is to be an Elite Player Development Centre as part of the RFU's world class performance plan.

The programme is part of the English Rugby Academy structure, the regional centre for which is based at Worcester RFU and Birmingham University. It will give the young players the opportunity to enhance their basic skills and rugby knowledge. It will also empahsise the need to develop peak physical condition and will allow them opportunities to compete to a higher level. The programme will be managed at Ellesmere by the Director of Rugby, Mr. Paul Goodwin.

There will be considerable opportunities for talented players to gain financial awards to study at Ellesmere College as part of the newly-launched programme of sports scholarships based at the College. There will also be considerable emphasis within the scheme of the need for talented young sports players to balance their professional and academic development so school work will not be neglected.

The scheme starts in September 2003 but applications should be made as soon as possible. The College's aim is to identify the rugby players from Shropshire and surrounding areas who possess the greatest potential to become full time professional rugby players. The players will get all their academic and rugby education through the College.

The England Rugby Academy will be agreeing the training programme for the players. This is likely to include 3 coaching sessions and a fixture each week plus individual fitness and strength building routines. Their will be regular visits and sessions from the Worcester Academy staff and their will opportunities to take advantage of the facilities and opportunities provided by the sports development centre at RAF Cosford.

The College must be one of the few schools that can boast the production of a former England Captain in Bill Beaumont, and a former President in the RFU in Ian Beer, who was Headmaster at Ellesmere from 1961 - 1969. Bill Beaumont welcomed the news of the College's being awarded EPDC status and commented “I am delighted to see the standard of rugby at Ellesmere College being recognized in this way and very pleased that my old school continues to go from strength to strength. Apart from the obvious sporting benefits that rugby development brings team games develop the whole person and I am pleased that Ellesmere still prepares pupils for life, rather that just examinations”.

Anyone interested in entering the scheme or finding out more details should contact Paul Goodwin at the College on 01691 622321.

The granting of the EPDC status to Ellesmere College follows fast on the glowing Inspection Report that it received recently where the Inspectors particularly praised the good attitude to learning that the pupils displayed, the strong moral and social education provided by the College and the excellent and varied wide range of sporting and cultural activities.

Former England Captain and former Ellesmere College pupil Bill Beaumont with the Ellesmere College 7's side at the North of England 7's Competition.

25th March 2003  Back to News