Cambridge Rugby Club press forward with plans to provide education opportunties at Volac Park

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 October 2018

Simon Leader is leading the plans for a BTEC at Cambridge Rugby Football Club. Picture: Keith Heppell

Simon Leader is leading the plans for a BTEC at Cambridge Rugby Football Club. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Open evening arranged to outline BTEC plans

Cambridge Rugby Club have moved a step closer to starting their academy after confirming they will be launching a BTEC in sports coaching and development in the next academic year.

Rugby Development Officer Simon Leader is overseeing the course, which will be delivered at the club in partnership with SCL and will allow youngsters to combine their studies and rugby.

Cambridge will look to use their expertise and facilities, including the new clubhouse extension, to give 16 to 18 year olds the opportunity to gain access to further education from September 2019.

They will put together a professional timetable featuring gym work, analysis, strength and conditioning and training every day.

And it is the first step to developing an academy at Volac Park to provide a pathway through the club to the first team.

“The key thing we want to get out is that it is a whole package,” said Leader. “Ultimately, we want to be in a position where we’re getting at least 20 players coming to the club that are capable of going on and playing first-team rugby.

“We understand as well that there is a community element to it, and a community responsibility as a club to start putting something back.

“Some of the youngsters we are probably going to be looking at are kids that perhaps don’t like school, maybe have lost a bit of interest with school, perhaps aren’t ever going to do particularly well at the more structured A-levels.

“Whereas a BTEC, which is more vocational based and much more practically based, and based at a rugby club where they are going to be doing rugby every day, we might get a few of these lads who perhaps would have been lost to the system.

“We might be able to keep them and get them to the point where they have an A-level equivalent qualification, and potentially get some of these boys off to university as well. So there are two sides to it.”

An open evening to provide information about the BTEC is being held at Cambridge Rugby Club on Thursday, October 18, at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

Leader and Cambridge community coach Ben Penfold will host the evening, with a representative from SCL doing a presentation for parents.

For more information or to attend the evening, email Simon Leader at

Meanwhile, on the pitch, Cambridge earned an impressive 13-6 win over Ampthill in National League One last Saturday.

Ampthill went ahead through a Michael Wilson penalty, but Ben Penfold replied in the 29th minute.

Just before half time, Alex Rayment touched down and Penfold converted, and he landed another penalty after the break.

Ampthill added another kick but could not get back into the game.

Cambridge play host Blackheath at Volac Park this Saturday (October 13).

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