A COLLEGE is hooking up with a rugby club in a bid to encourage young people into sport and learning.
Darlington College has agreed to become a sponsor at Darlington Rugby Club to support grassroots sport in the region.
The collaboration will see students offered the chance to play rugby, as well as secure work placements in the club in areas such as coaching, physiotherapy and event management.
Existing club members will be able to seek advice on accessing a range of full and part-time learning opportunities.
Founded in 1863, Darlington Rugby Club is one of the oldest in the country and this year managed to field three men’s teams for the first time in years, as well as women’s sides, colts (U18s) and a host of children’s squads.
While the first team battled it out in the County 1 Northumberland and Durham League after being promoted last year, the second team had an exceptional season finishing top of the Tees Valley Social League, so will enter the Candy League next season.
Darlington College’s marketing and engagement manager Claire Turner said: “This is a great opportunity for the college to support grassroots sport in the community.
“Working together will allow our students opportunities to play and secure work placements within the club. It will also give us the ability to talk to club members about learning prospects and help upskill or retrain those who are looking for a fresh challenge.”
Darlington Rugby Club director Adam Walker said: ‘It’s a great match. We will attend a variety of college events to promote opportunities at Darlington Rugby Club. We are delighted to receive the support of Darlington College. It is an incredible commitment to support grassroots rugby and the college’s involvement will help people of all ages get involved.”
The college will attend the club’s end of season presentation and junior fun day on June 10 to talk about post-16 options, distance learning and adult skills.
Over the summer the club will host strength and conditioning sessions, before pre-season training begins in July, pre-season games in August, with the season starting in September, just as the World Cup gets under way in France.