With life after rugby fast becoming a crucial focal point for the modern professional player, a group of RPA members from London Welsh, Harlequins and England 7’s recently attended an insight day at Aviva’s Digital Garage in Shoreditch, London.
Organised as part of the RPA’s Personal Development Programme (PDP), Official General Insurance and Pension Partner of the RPA, Aviva, opened their doors for an interactive day aimed to educate and prepare players for a potential future career in business.
The day kicked-off with an inspiring presentation by Paul Heybourne, Aviva Head of Digital Innovation and New Business in the UK, who delivered an overview of the Digital Garage and an insight into some of the new digital initiatives.
This was followed by an honest and frank account of the world of insurance broking presented superbly by Michael Skinner from AON and former London Irish forward turned businessman, Kieran Roche.
Lizzy Nairn, Aviva Sponsorship Consultant, then spoke to the players about the various roles Aviva offer and in particular what these positions actually involve and the work experience opportunities available to all RPA members.
Finally the players were split into groups for an interactive ‘Real Deal’ session where they were presented with the scenario of deciding the top five most important factors in any future career. By agreeing on each factor, they were then asked to find the ‘deal breaker’ for each of their five selections, i.e. the one thing that would stop them from taking a certain job. It was from this exercise the players could then work out which future career they would potentially be more suited to.
One player who spoke highly of each aspect of the day was RPA Player Representative for London Welsh, Richard Thorpe.
“It’s been a fantastic day here at Aviva and we have all thoroughly enjoyed it. As rugby players we know what to expect when we’re out on the rugby pitch but we don’t necessary know what to expect when we finish playing.
“Days like today really do open our eyes to what is available and the different job opportunities that we can strive towards.
“I personally think it’s really important for players to engage with events like today and I for one will be keeping in touch with Aviva because I think they offer some great opportunities going forward.”
Lizzy Nairn, said: “It was a pleasure to meet the guys and help them understand the possibilities open to them when they retire from rugby. Starting afresh in a completely different area can be daunting, so at Aviva we’re keen to do everything we can to help rugby players make a successful move into a new career.”
If you are interested in supporting the players through the RPA Personal Development Programme please contact Richard Bryan on 020 3053 6670 or rbryan@theRPA.co.uk
For more information on Aviva please click here.