SIX students from Castleford Academy have been chosen to spend two months this summer playing rugby league in Australia.
Castleford Academy has had a close partnership over the past few years with Mackay State High School RL Academy in Queensland. It has seen a total of seven students in the past two summers embark on the same adventure.
Staff at Mackay have now decided they wanted six students this summer after the past students had provided an excellent example of the talent, attitude and behaviour on show at Castleford Academy,
The students heading ‘Down Under’ this year are year 11 pupils Brad Cable, Calum Butler, Kieran Gill, Tom Holmes, Matthew Potts and Lewis Price. They are all talented RL players and five of them are currently on scholarship with Castleford Tigers under 16s.
All six played against Mackay State High School when they visited on tour last September.
The Mackay coaches were impressed with the talent of the Castleford team in a thrilling match, which finished 22-22.
This year, students in the squad were asked 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.
Fourteen students from the year 11 rugby team at Castleford Academy chose to apply.
Year 11 rugby team coach Mr Ryan Lloyd said: “The boys were six of a full squad of players who could have been picked to go on the trip. Their commitment to school and school sport has been excellent over the past five years. The trip is a once in lifetime experience. They will be a credit to themselves and Castleford.”
The players will fly out to Australia in June after their final GCSE exams and will be staying with Australian families for the duration of the trip.
To help pay for the cost of return flights down under, the school has organised a number of fundraising events, including a bag pack at ASDA, Glasshoughton, a race night at Castleford Panthers ARLFC, a sportsmans dinner at Castleford Tigers RLFC and a raffle.
Head of PE Mr Lee Holmes said: “It will cost around £1,200 per person to go on the trip and the whole school and community has been really supportive.
“We have already had some donations and sold numerous raffle tickets.
“This will be a great chance for them to pit their skills against the best young players in Australia. They are really looking forward to it.”
Anyone who would like to make a donation towards the trip can contact Mr Holmes at Castleford Academy on 01977 605060.