Through Bangor University’s sports scholarships for elite athletes, seven students who play for Rygbi Gogledd Cymru (RGC), the regional rugby side, have been able to progress to higher education whilst continuing to play rugby at a high level.
Sports scholarships are awarded to recognise and support sporting excellence and achievement. They are aimed at helping talented and high performing students combine their academic study and sporting ability to assist them in achieving their full potential.
This new partnership will allow players identified by RGC to stay in north Wales to study and develop their rugby. RGC was set up in 2011 to help improve the opportunities available for the best rugby players from the region. In their first few years, RGC worked mainly with players aged under 18 in further education, but a need for a post-18 pathway soon developed.
‘Traditionally the best players were drawn to south Wales, with the aims of playing for one of the four professional Welsh regions – the Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff Blues or the Dragons” said Marc Roberts, WRU Regional Rugby Manager. “The work of the RGC Academy through to the senior side has enabled players to have a clear pathway to continue to develop their rugby skills. RGC is also fully committed to develop players off the field, and we are able to achieve this by giving them the option of a career after rugby.”
Richard Bennett, Director of Sport and Recreation at Bangor University, said: “The University has invested extensively in sporting facilities during the last two years, and coupled with tailored one-to-one support from academics at the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, our partnership with RGC will hopefully see north Wales producing the best rugby players of the future.”