Tigers starlets to pilot education programme

25 Jan 2012

Castleford Tigers has joined forces with health & fitness course specialists Fit UK to deliver a pioneering programme that will see the club’s young players gain level 2 and level 3 fitness instructor and personal trainer qualifications while being a professional Rugby League player.

The Tigers are the first Super League club to offer this type of programme. Steve Gill, head of youth development is excited by the opportunities the courses will present to the young players:
“We have a duty of care to make sure that all our young players receive as much education as possible whilst they are with the club. Along with the AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) programme we are continuing to deliver education packages tailor-made to fit our players’ requirements.  “We have been working with Geoff Burrow (Rugby League Players Association & the GMB) and Jamie Tunstall (FIT UK) over a period of time in putting the programme into place. The GMB have been fantastic in their support in sourcing funding for this course. The take-up from the lads has been fantastic and I look forward to seeing many of them progress through the courses. 

Speaking on behalf of GMB and the Rugby League Players’ Association, Geoff Burrow said: “This Apprenticeship initiative is a pilot scheme that the RLPA & GMB Union would like to expand throughout Rugby League & at all levels, be that Super League, Championship Leagues or even Amateur clubs.

“The GMB have been proud sponsors of Castleford Tigers for quite a number of years & this shows that the GMB do not only sponsor clubs financially, but also are prepared to offer their services in order for players to plan for a career AFTER sport.  “Steve Gill has been very supportive of this initiative & is ensuring that any young player that plays for the club is offered a superb package which will include educational & career support as well as excellent coaching & mentoring.”

FIT UK provide both vocational and apprenticeship qualifications in the leisure sector and work with everyone from councils, trusts, Health clubs to professional sports clubs providing a high quality education package at both level 2 and level 3 standards .  Jamie Tunstall a Director of FIT UK added: “We at Fit UK are very excited about this opportunity to work with Castleford Tigers in this capacity; it’s great to meet likeminded people such as Steve and Geoff, who have the same ethos as we do. Our belief is to give the players every opportunity to learn and achieve something they can utilize after their playing career.”