ASA Down Under!
Australia is seen as somewhat of 'Rugby Mecca' so who doesn't want a tour down under? I recently caught up with Mr Grayburn and Mr Abbott who are Directors of Rugby and Player Performance managers at Archbishop Sentamu Academy (ASA), Hull.
ASA is a state school in the notorious 'Preston Road' area of East Hull, where many ASA students have a number of socio-economic and academic barriers, and the school go above and beyond to overcome these hurdles. Despite the massive financial and logistical demands, Mr Grayburn and Mr Abbott have recently organised an ASA Rugby Tour to Australia through the ASA Scholarship programme, due to take place int he Summer term. Here's what they had to say to GRM about the Tour.
1. What is the ASA scholarship program?
"The scholarship programme here at ASA is a unique tailor made programme designed to maximise the development of our scholars both male and female. We have 200 students on our scholarship programme, of which the programme aims to produce independent, intelligent learners who are well rounded and respectable individuals, through the guidance and support of patient and committed educators, mentors and coaches. Creating the correct environment is imperative to our beliefs in developing young athletes. This will be done by adopting a fair management system alongside the use of role models and a positive yet hard working attitude on the playing field and in the classroom. Selected rugby league scholars will adopt a separate timetable, with sessions timetabled in the curriculum from year 7 through to year 11 for both male and female scholars. It is our sole aim to help our scholars realise their full potential within a structured player development pathway model".
2. What sporting successes have ASA achieved in recent years?
"The successes are growing year upon year and we are proud that the success is not only on the field but in the classroom, too. We base ourselves upon good behaviour and this has helped to develop the discipline required to breed success on and off the field. This year’s successes have been:
- 4 out of 5 girls age groups reached Yorkshire Cup Finals – three teams being ranked 3rd in the whole of Yorkshire, with the other age group yet to play.
- 4 out of 5 boys age groups won their respective leagues and qualified for the Yorkshire Cup competition.
- Year 8 boys ranked in the top 8 in Yorkshire, year 9 ranked 1 or 2 in Yorkshire (final yet to be played 26/04/2018) and in the top 8 in England and Wales in the national cup (quarter final yet to be played 18/04/2018)
- We are extremely proud of our scholars who have taken another step on the pathway with professional academies – T. O’Loughlin (Castleford Academy), C. Wynne (City of Hull Academy).
For us as staff, winning isn’t everything, but creating well rounded, respectful individuals is. We also look to help participation rate in a sport that is struggling to attract or retain participants by offering our programme to non-rugby league players with the aim to signpost them into local amateur clubs"
3. When is the AUS tour and who is involved?
" The Australia tour runs every two years involving a mix of year 9 and 10 students. This year the tour is for 3 weeks in June and consists of 22 scholarship students, 4 members of staff and 2 third year university students studying sports rehabilitation who will be physios in Australia. This is thanks to our unique partnership with the University of Hull. We will be playing four matches against some of the best young rugby league talent the world has to offer. The tour also helps to strengthen our link and partnership with Mackay State High School in Queensland, who will be coming over to Hull next year yet again to continue to build and develop the partnership between their school and Archbishop Sentamu Academy. Whilst in Australia, we will be visiting Brisbane, Mackay, Sydney and Manly, seeing parts of Australia as well as playing matches as this is equally as important "
4. Why are international tours important?
" Here at ASA, we want to create the best environment possible for our rugby league scholars and we believe challenging them in a number of different scenarios creates a well rounded individual. Apart from the benefits of playing whilst in Australia, the tour is geared towards team building, aiding the confidence of our scholars and giving them the opportunity to experience other cultures. We want to widen the horizons of our student’s aspirations and believe this is a great, once in a lifetime opportunity for these scholars"
5. How are you funding the tour?
" The tour has been solely self funded by players, parents and staff of the tour. To raise the required amount has been no mean feat and has been quite a challenge for all concerned. This has taken a lot of time, effort and dedication towards making the tour possible. We would personally like to thank all parents and players for their continued support and efforts, as well as thank their individual sponsors, of which all will have their company logo on their respective travel kit. We would also like to say a massive thank you to the following for their support and funding for the tour:
- University of Hull
- Smailes Goldie
- Aspire Academy
- Shield Security
- RexTech Development Ltd
- Alternative Lawn Company
- Principal Resourcing – Education Specialists
- IT @ Spectrum
- CS Enterprises
Any students who are looking at the potentially joining the scholarship here at ASA can contact the school or email Mr Grayburn and Mr Abbott on email@example.com to find out more information".