RFU confirms Focus Colleges programme with 21 institutions

The RFU has launched a new Focus Colleges programme, aimed at developing rugby within the further education sector.

The programme will see the formation of partnerships with 21 colleges from across the country, offering them funding and support to help grow the game among male and female players at that level.

Over the past three years, the RFU has delivered a range of targeted rugby programmes in over 200 colleges across England in order to develop rugby’s impact in the further education sector.

With insight from RFU sector partners ECRFU (England Colleges Rugby Football Union) and AOC Sport (Association of Colleges) 21 colleges were selected to become Focus Colleges this season.

The programme will place emphasis on increasing the college player base and developing rugby in three main areas:

Strength – Consolidating and continuing to develop rugby opportunities for college students

Transition– Improving the pipeline of players into clubs from colleges

Sustain – Improving player welfare, building capacity and improving the quality of coaches, referees and leaders in colleges

The Focus Colleges will receive funding over three years depending on the successful achievement of the targets set around each of the main areas of focus.

“Focus Colleges are a key pillar to the future of our work in the education sector,” said Mark Saltmarsh, RFU Head of Education Development.

“We will work in partnership and even greater depth with these institutions with the aim of ensuring that more of those in the key 16 to 19 year old age band want to continue playing rugby into their adult years. The prospect of achieving our joint goal of keeping more young players on their rugby journey is a really exciting one.”

Focus Colleges for season 2017/18:

  1. Berkshire College of Agriculture
  2. Birmingham Metropolitan College
  3. Blackpool College
  4. Brooksby Melton College
  5. Chichester College
  6. Craven College
  7. Dudley College
  8. Exeter College
  9. Gateshead College
  10. Hartlepool College of Further Education
  11. Havant College
  12. Henley College Coventry
  13. Hereford College
  14. Hills Road Sixth Form College
  15. Joseph Chamberlain College
  16. Loughborough College
  17. Reaseheath College
  18. The Henley College
  19. Tresham College
  20. West Nottingham College
  21. Worcester College