Over 80 of the most talented young rugby players in the country were in attendance as the RPA recently held its annual Academy Induction Day at Lilleshall National Sports and Conference Centre in Shropshire.
The event which aims to educate, offer guidance and inspire first year academy players from across the Aviva Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship, is held each year thanks to the continued support of the Tom Maynard Trust.
Set up in memory of former Glamorgan and Surrey cricketer, Tom Maynard, who was tragically killed in London in June 2012, the trust plays an essential role in supporting the Induction Day and providing an opportunity for Academy players to explore the different options available to them.
From social media to finance, to agent information, media training and gambling awareness the players spent the day rotating around various seminars hosted by industry experts, in an effort to prepare them for life as a full-time professional rugby player.
Speaking during the event, Newcastle Falcons’ Academy forward and England U18’s captain, Callum Chick, said he found the Induction Day an incredibly beneficial experience and one which has inspired him to make the most of his career.
“The whole experience today has been fantastic, not only have we learnt more about the vital role the RPA plays, we’ve also had the opportunity to hear from a range of different professionals on all aspects of forging a successful rugby career.
“In particular, I found the seminars on social media and speaking to the media extremely beneficial, we all know the game is growing rapidly in size and with that growth comes increased scrutiny and intense pressure to set high standards both on and off the pitch.
“I also found the presentation by former Wasps’ captain, Tom Rees, a truly inspiring story and really made me appreciate how difficult a rugby career can sometimes be and therefore the importance of planning ahead for the future.