Ospreys youngsters enjoy a degree of success!

Young players at the region have been proving that they have brains as well as brawn, with nine of the squad picking up Foundation Degrees in Coaching and Development at Neath Port Talbot College (NPTC) this week.

The players graduated in July after studying at NPTC which is affiliated to the University of Glamorgan, but unfortunately due to training commitments they were unable to be part of the ceremony.

The College offers a variety of courses at degree level, as it allows a more flexible learning approach which the Ospreys found a major plus.

Justin Tipuric is one of the ninem and he says he now wants to complete his third year with the College:

“We’ve studied with the College for two years and found their flexible approach very accommodating in the light of training schedules and match fixtures. The staff were very supportive and it would be great if we could complete our Level six qualification.”

Deputy Head of Sport at NPTC, Barry Roberts said:

“The Foundation Degree provides a fantastic route for professional players to continue their education and contributes to the future development of players. The Work Based Level module also enables the student to work in a professional coaching environment.

“This particular cohort of students displayed a mature and hard working approach to their studies from day one. A close working relationship between teaching staff and the Osprey coaches meant players were provided with the necessary support to ensure the success they have achieved in their academic studies and playing careers.  We hope they will be able to continue their ‘top up’ degree at NPTC in 2012.”

Ospreys Chief Operations Officer, Andrew Hore, said:

“Our congratulations go to the nine players who have graduated. These may be young men just starting out in the game, but they need to realise that professional rugby is a very short career. Evidence suggests that having extra-curricular interests away from rugby actually aids performance on the pitch as well.

“We encourage all our players to prepare for their future by undertaking some kind of practical or educational qualification, and we offer them all the support that they need to be able to achieve on and off the pitch.

“We have a social responsibility to develop not only better rugby players, but also, better people, ensuring that the youngsters in question receive a solid grounding in not only the rugby basics tactical, technical and physical support, but also in the areas of nutritional, psychological and holistic support, areas which are often overlooked at this stage, to the detriment of a player’s personal development.

“We have a first class relationship with Neath Port Talbot College that has enabled our young players to prosper in their environment, and we look forward to that continuing long-term.”