Woodham Academy’s successful Sports Academy provides students with the opportunity to practise and improve in a variety of sports, expanding upon the provision of physical activity in students’ Core PE lessons.
The afterschool sessions are free and run by experienced staff or external coaches, to offer students a fun and inclusive environment, where they can learn some of the finer skills and tactics of sports they’re introduced to in PE.
Woodham Academy has previously been part of the RFU’s ‘All Schools’ programme.
The Rugby Academy started around two years ago and, despite restrictions relating to Covid-19, the number of students attending the after-school training sessions has continued to grow.
Mr Patterson said “After the last couple of years, I think it’s important to give our students as many opportunities as possible to keep active and build confidence.
“Rugby is great for this because it teaches the students the RFU’s core values (teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship), while having fun.
“The Rugby Academy sessions are open to both boys and girls and this year we have been able to build stronger links with some of the local Rugby Clubs, such as Newton Aycliffe RUFC and Bishop Auckland RUFC.”
The Year 7 and 8 boys’ teams played their first fixtures earlier in the year with both Woodham teams winning their games.
In addition, three Year 9 students – Kyle Alderson, Anthony Wild and Harry Robinson – were recently nominated for the Durham DPP (Development Player Pathway), following in the footsteps of current Year 11 student Cameron Hawkins.
The Rugby Academy usually takes place on a Thursday, 3.30-4.30pm. Sessions have recently been indoors, working on skills in the sports hall and making use of Woodham’s brand-new fitness suite. After half term sessions will be back outside, preparing for a number of fixtures before Easter.