Talented Rugby Players to benefit from unique Scholarship Scheme30/11/2011
Four students from Nottingham Trent University are set to benefit from a unique rugby scholarship scheme. The university has teamed up with Nottingham Rugby and international ICT solutions provider, Logicalis UK Ltd, to offer the scholarships, which will provide the talented university first team players with a wide range of high-level support and development.
The quartet - selected following a number of trials - is made up of current captain Jamie Barnard, along with players Sam Ismail, Will Kiddle and Greg Lound. The one year scholarship will see them receive specialist skills coaching, strength and conditioning training, physiotherapy and sports massage, and nutritional, psychological and lifestyle support. They will also undertake an intensive training camp with the Nottingham Rugby academy and will be provided with individual player resumes and profiling.
The scholarship programme will support the players' university rugby and could potentially lead to a professional playing contract, or to future coaching opportunities. It will also provide academic flexibility and performance lifestyle support, to enable them to leave with their degree and essential employability skills.
(from left to right - Jamie Barnard, Sam Ismail, Greg Lound and Will Kiddle)
The programme has come about following a hugely successful year for sport at Nottingham Trent University, with the institution climbing into the top 20 in the 150-strong British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) championship league. The men's rugby first team, meanwhile, won their league, were promoted to the top flight, and scooped the coveted BUCS Trophy.
The university has an excellent reputation for supporting talented athletes from academy to professional standard. The scholars will be hoping they can follow in the footsteps of Nottingham Trent University mathematics and science graduate and current Harlequins and England back row, Nick Easter. The scholars are being officially unveiled by representatives from each of the partners before the first team game against current BUCS champions Durham University on November 30.
James Hayter, the Director of Sport and Lifestyle at Nottingham Trent University, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for these high performing players, enabling them to compete at the highest level of student rugby and providing a possible route into the professional game.
"Rugby union is going from strength to strength here at Nottingham Trent University. The men's first team is in the top flight and competing well at the highest level, and the second, third and fourth teams, and the women's team, are all playing well in their respective divisions of the BUCS championships. Our aim is to establish the university first 15 as a solid Premier A team and work our way up to become a challenger for the top honours."
The chief executive of Nottingham Rugby, Simon Beatham, said: "We're excited to be involved with a project like this and I'm pleased that we're able to provide this opportunity for the four players. Ultimately, a strong relationship between ourselves and Nottingham Trent University can only be to the benefit of rugby in Nottingham and I'm sure the lads will thrive with this support."