Vipers to give added bite to Cambridge Rugby Club academy
Cambridge are to add some bite to their rugby offering next season.
Plans had already been announced to launch a Cambridge Rugby BTEC Academy at the club for students aged 16 to 19 this September.
They have now revealed that the academy team will be called the Cambridge Vipers.
Rugby development officer Simon Leader is leading the project, which will see the youngsters study for a BTEC extended diploma in sport, and one of the aims was to create a community identity.
“The balance we’re trying to strike is between it being based at the rugby club and a rugby club academy, but also for the community,” said Leader.
“Of the players confirmed on the course, we only have two who currently play at Cambridge so the rest of them come from Ely, Wisbech, Royston, St Neots, St Ives, Huntingdon.
“There are a good six or seven rugby clubs represented so we’re very conscious that it is an academy for the community and not a Cambridge rugby player factory.
“As a National One club at the top end, there is of course an opportunity for players to show what they’ve got, and potentially have the opportunity to be picked up to train and play through our player pathway.
“But it is also about coming and playing rugby while gaining a valuable qualification at the same time.”
Working with graphic designer Tonia Ibrahim, they have come up with a striking badge which outlines the name as the Cambridge Vipers Rugby Academy.
“We went through a few ideas with Tonia, and her reasoning behind the Vipers is that they have the connotation of being a vicious snake that when it attacks it draws blood,” said Leader.
“But also some vipers live in the desert, so there is your sand. The idea was the blood and sand link [the colours of the club].
“She added, bringing a bit more menace to it, that they do swallow their prey whole, so that was the other tag.
“We had other ideas such as Cambridge Crusaders, but we did not find a link back to Cambridge or the club.”
He added: “We thought the idea of being a Viper was quite a cool thing.
"It was trying to give them an ownership over what it is they are doing in the two years there are with us.
“Whether they end up playing for Cambridge or not, they have gone through the system but they will always be a Viper.”
There are still a couple of places left on the course for this coming academic year, and applications are already being taken for next season.
Anyone interested should email Simon Leader at firstname.lastname@example.org.