Posted by SCL Education Group on 03.12.15
SCL is a private education training provider, specialising in sport, aiming to help clubs benefit from rugby’s showpiece being on home territory. By creating a partnership with SCL, clubs can set-up their own private academies for 16-18 year olds to train and gain a Diploma in Sport. They guide clubs through the whole process while offering the unique opportunity to run the programmes from their own ground or facility.
Partnership Director and co-founder Steve Franks told The Rugby Paper:
“We’re not looking to take over a club’s existing scholarship programme where they’ve got players aged 16-18 on professional contracts. The SCL Rugby Academy is almost a second chance programme for those who didn’t quite make the grade, but the club still want to keep an eye on. It gives them an opportunity to take on another squad.
“We originally piloted the programme with Blackheath RFC. It has proved to be an outstanding programme and we are now in our third season with them. We’ve had 100 per cent pass rates and the club has benefitted a lot from it with players being selected for their first team.
“There’s a lot of young people who aren’t in education but are inspired by rugby. This offers them a chance to be motivated and engaged to stay in education whilst developing their sporting performance with a rugby club. It also ticks a lot of boxes for clubs’ social responsibilities in the communities they serve.”
As well as the BTEC Diploma in Sport, students can gain sports coaching qualifications and undertake GCSE resits in Maths and English if needed. For clubs who have community trusts, players also undertake work experience and provide coaching at schools or holiday camps.
“The programme works because it combines two experts in their field. SCL concentrates on delivering the education, the club on the rugby training and player development.” Franks said.
“Our USP is that we deliver the education programme from the club alongside the rugby training and match play. In short, we are an onsite college but with many advantages. Instead of students taking time out to go to a college, they are immersed full-time in the club environment and experience what it is like to be part of a rugby club.”
Franks continued, “The clubs benefit from on-site delivery too. Having the education delivered by a college may restrict when the rugby training takes place. By having the education delivered at the club’s facilities, we can create a bespoke timetable that suits both our needs. A lot of the clubs are also keen to progress players from the second chance programme into their scholarship programme or any late developers even into their first team. Having the players at the club full-time, training day in, day out gives club the ability to monitor their progress closely as well.”
“It’s all together on one site and it’s made for excellent success rates. For education, across all our 40 Sports Academies our overall success rate is 95 per cent, which is about 12 per cent above national average.
“We pride ourselves on delivering a quality education and parting with clubs to offer a first class Rugby experience for young people that creates opportunity. At the end of the education programme, players can progress onto Apprenticeships or university, find employment within the sport and leisure industry, or within rugby itself.”
“We also offer excellent training and support for our clubs. In-service training for coaches, club-specific pages on our recently launched website, a marketing toolkit and an online trials booking system are just examples.”
“We believe in creating the correct relationship with our club partners for long-term success and work hard to ensure we deliver for the clubs and for our learners.”
Franks concluded, “We have funding availability to establish new programmes with clubs for 2016/17.
So whether clubs are looking to set up a second chance programme to work along-side their main scholarship programme or indeed set up a scholarship programme, SCL has the expertise, support structure and experience to make it happen.”
This piece first appeared in The Rugby Paper on Sunday, September 13th.
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