The Castleford and Pontefract-based Elite Rugby Academy has seen its first two students signed by professional clubs.
Talented 14-year-olds Tom Holroyd and Cameron Lees have signed scholarship forms for Super League sides after being recommended by Castleford Tigers heroes Danny Orr and Ryan Hudson, who started the Elite Academy in 2012 and have overseen the youngsters’ progress.
Utility player Tom has signed with Castleford Tigers while half-back Cameron has taken a scholarship with Wakefield Wildcats.
“We want to congratulate the lads on being given scholarships with professional clubs,” said Elite Rugby Academy founder and Cas Tigers assistant coach Danny Orr.
“They’re two really good promising kids with a lot of talent. They are both really good kids, strong, athletic and hopefully they will do really well.
“They’ve got a good attitude so will learn a lot in the scholarship and hopefully will go really far and do really well for themselves.
“They are the first from the Elite Academy to get signed up. We’ve been going three-and-a-half years now and they are the first two, hopefully in years to come they will be followed by more.
“Obviously it’s not just down to us that they have got signed. The amateur clubs have done a great job with these lads. But they have been coming to us for three years now and it’s a nice reward for us to see them go to professional clubs.
“When we started out we were just trying to get kids involved in rugby and also help the most talented ones to get a chance at scholarships. We’ve helped to do that.”
The Elite Rugby Academy is continuing to prove a big success, having expanded from an initial two to four classes a week.
Danny explained: “We are back indoors for the winter, at The Hut, Airedale, on a Monday and a Thursday. On a Tuesday we are at Kings School, Pontefract and on a Wednesday we will be at the A1 Football Factory, at Knottingley, which is a new venue for us.
“We have got new kids coming all the time. We’ve got some who’ve been with us for the three years we’ve been going.
“Andy Lynch comes down, Ryan Boyle helps and James Clare, who’s now gone to play for Bradford.
“Every now and again I try and get a different face down and do a one-off session with the kids. Mike McMeeken and Will Maher are others who have helped out.
“It’s going really well, probably far better at the moment than we probably ever thought it would.”
Dates and times of the Elite Rugby Academy sessions can be found on their website at http://eliterugbyacademy.com
To book a place at the Elite Academy, ring Danny Orr on 07789 587889.