Over the recent decades Barnsley based volunteers have attempted to develop Rugby League in areas such as Hoyland, Darton and Dodworth but despite those efforts it has remained a large Football orientated town in South Yorkshire.
But now, thanks to some proactivity within schools and local Super League club Wakefield Trinity, we might just see a sustainable pathway appear for young, promising athletes to develop into the Rugby League stars of the future.
The first Barnsley schools to become accredited as England Rugby League Player Development Schools are Outwood Academies Shafton and Carlton who recently completed their Teacher CPD on the importance of skill development over maturation.
Wakefield Trinity Community Manager, James Stephenson, is excited about the long-term benefits within Barnsley. He said, “It’s hard to believe that Wakefield shares a border with Barnsley yet Rugby League vanishes the second you step over the line. Both Outwood Academy Shafton and Outwood Academy Carlton have invested their own time to developing their expertise internally through CPD with Wakefield Trinity and their students receive coaching on a weekly basis. Proactive schools are a hugely attractive motivator; we’ll always meet them in the middle.”
Rugby League lead PE Teacher, John Williams, at Outwood Academy Carlton, spoke of his desire to give the students an opportunity, “There are so many transferable skills in sport and our school are enjoying being a part of the England Talent Pathway programme. It’s good to know that we have the support of Wakefield Trinity and in return we’ll do our best to support them.”
Chris Gabraitis, Head of PE at Outwood Academy Shafton, added, “We used a recent INSET day to improve the PE department’s knowledge of Rugby League. James and Craig spoke about the philosophy of the project and how that would create sustainability in schools. Then we got to have some fun and play some games around skill development. We highly recommend more schools should engage.”
For more information, please contact James Stephenson, Community Manager, at Wakefield Trinity on James.Stephenson@wakefieldtrinity.com