Huddersfield Giants have announced the launch of a Rugby Football League ‘Category 3 Academy’, in partnership with the Huddersfield Elite Sports Education Academy.
Category 3 Academies offer students a pathway to professional Rugby League in an educational setting.
A college that has this status has a formal partnership with a professional Club and is committed to providing a high-performance player development environment that meets the RFL standards, while allowing students to continue their further education study.
The Rugby League Development Programme will launch in September 2017 and will offer youngsters a first class education in sport, alongside training and playing Rugby League in a professional environment.
The launch of the Development Programme provides a second Category 3 pathway for aspiring young Rugby League players in West Yorkshire and the surrounding areas – the new set-up will provide an additional phase in the Giants Performance Pathway.
The scholars will represent Giants in the College Rugby League divisions and will 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 scholars will study the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport Performance and Excellence.
The two-year qualification is the equivalent to three A-Levels and provides students with a valuable insight into the variety of subjects within the sporting industry.
The Education Academy also currently delivers the academic curriculum to the Giants Academy Scholars.
Giants Head of Youth Andy Kelly said: “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.
“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.”