Four students from Castleford Academy have been chosen to spend two months this summer playing rugby league in Australia.
Talented youngsters Joe Capless, Jake Connelly, Scott Fleming and Jack Young (pictured left) will be heading down under to further their rugby league education as part of the ongoing partnership between Castleford Academy and Mackey State High School, Queensland.
The partnership has flourished over the past four years and after the current exchange a total of 17 students from Castleford Academy will have taken on the once in a lifetime opportunity.
The former students, who have been part of the now annual trip, have proved a major success in the southern hemisphere. And George Marchant, one of the three members of the first exchange in 2010, opted to relocate down under after his experience.
He is now playing rugby league for Ipswich Jets, in Queensland.
For the second year all students in the Year 11 rugby team were given the chance to write a letter of application to Mackay explaining why they wanted to go on the exchange and what they would bring to the school and it was Joe, Jake, Scott and Jack who were selected by Mackay High School.
Year 11 rugby team coach Ryan Lloyd said: “The four students have done extremely well to gain a place on this very popular exchange.
“Mackay High school will only accept students who they believe will integrate in the Australian way of life and provide a boost for their already successful rugby teams.”
The players will fly out to Australia at the end of June after their final GCSE exams and will be staying with Australian families for the duration of the trip. To help fund some of the cost, the school and families are organising a number of fundraising events, including a race night at Castleford Panthers ARLFC, a sportsman’s dinner at Castleford Tigers and a raffle.
Head of PE Lee Holmes said: “Although it will cost around £2,000 per student to participate in the exchange, it is a fantastic opportunity for these young lads. We have already had some donations and sold numerous raffle tickets, but any help is greatly appreciated.”
“This is a great chance for them to test themselves in a hotbed of talented players.”
The school would like to thank Parkside Flexibles and B & C Car sales for sponsoring the kit for the students. Anyone who would like to make a donation towards the trip can contact Mr Lloyd at Castleford Academy on 01977 605060 or email@example.com.