Richmond Rugby is delighted to announce that after many months of discussion we are launching The Richmond Rugby/Orleans Park Academy for the 2019/20 season.
We have enjoyed close links with local school Orleans Park School for many years and having created our Community Department in 2017 the relationship has grown substantially. We have for the past two years supported the school with coaching for their Year 7 & 8 students as well as running after-school rugby for girls in Years 7 - 9. Annually the Community Department has sponsored the school’s increasingly popular School’s Rugby 7’s Tournament - this year saw 14 different schools compete over three days.
The new Academy partnership means that the Community team will now help coach the school’s First XV as well as supporting their fixture schedule. All members of the Academy either at the club or at the school will be invited to attend weekly mid-week training sessions run at the club. All current members of the Colts team (Under 17 & 18s) automatically switch to become Academy players with any new players wishing to join the club becoming a member of the Academy without any “selection” criteria.
Dom Palacio, Head of Community, said: “We are really pleased to further forge our partnership with Orleans Park School, who we have been working closely with for the last two years. We have many players in our Youth section who attend the school, some of who have joined the club as a result of our engagement. To now have a “Non-Selective” Academy model in partnership with the school is a fantastic and a totally unique rugby offering for any players who want to study for A levels whilst enjoying a very high standard of rugby and being coached by ourselves and the schools PE staff. In addition it will give our own club members at Under 17 and 18 level greater training opportunities and their own unique identity with a bespoke playing strip being supplied by the club. This model will pave the way for them to play senior rugby at the club going forward."
Steve Hill, Director of Rugby, said: “We are excited by this unique new partnership, not only does it further strengthen our relationship with the school but it offers our own youth teams a greater rugby experience. The partnership will help increase the enjoyment and abilities of all boys and girls wanting to play rugby. We are proud to be part of what we hope will become a lifelong involvement in our sport."
Miles Rushworth, Head of Rugby at Orleans Park School, said: “We are very much looking forward to working with Richmond Rugby going forward in this brilliant new partnership."