Bath Rugby and Beechen Cliff School are working in partnership to develop promising young rugby players in the Bath Rugby catchment area. The Academy, Colleges and Education (ACE) programme, which they deliver together, aims to provide an outstanding rugby and academic development programme for talented young players to achieve their potential both on and off the pitch. The partnership provides a much-needed state school pathway to high level rugby, to mirror the well-established and successful existing partnerships that Bath Rugby has with a number of independent schools.
Andrew Davies, Beechen Cliff's Head Master, is excited by the programme: "Beechen Cliff is delighted to be working closely with Bath Rugby. We recognise there is great rugby talent in the region and this offers young players an excellent opportunity.
Hopefully, some of these players are going to secure professional contracts, but obviously not all will and it is important they receive a strong academic programme alongside the development of their rugby skills."
As part of the programme, Beechen Cliff enters a Sixth Form team into the RFU's National ACE League, playing fixtures against the AASE School/Colleges of the other 11 Premiership clubs.
Sean Turner, Beechen Cliff's Director of Rugby, who coordinates the programme, says: "The ACE League is a very high standard of rugby, but with Bath Rugby's support in areas such as strength and conditioning, match analysis, positional coaching and physiotherapy, the players have the best opportunity to achieve their full potential."
The programme is targeted primarily at Year 12 & 13 rugby players from within Bath's catchment of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset, who join the school's Sixth Form. Some players who may have a particularly lengthy daily commute, have the opportunity to board in the school's on site boarding house, but numbers are limited.
The Academy, Colleges and Education programme is designed to meet the needs of young people, who have the potential to achieve excellence in rugby while pursuing an outstanding education at the same time. The scheme has been in operation across a range of sports since 2004 and is currently running in 11Premiership Rugby Academies in partnership with established local education providers.
The aim of the ACE partnership between Bath Rugby and Beechen Cliff School is to continually identify, recruit and develop talented young rugby players and bring them through the School and Academy programmes towards a professional contract and the senior squad.
What are the benefits of this programme to young people?
If you have more questions about the ACE rugby programme being delivered by Bath Rugby and Beechen Cliff School please visit the school's website or contact Sean Turner, Director of Rugby firstname.lastname@example.org