Castleford Tigers Supporters Club turn spotlight on youth development

Castleford Tigers Supporters Club's youth development evening. Picture: Rachel Brocklehurst
Castleford Tigers Supporters Club's youth development evening. Picture: Rachel Brocklehurst

Attention was on the young players at the club when Castleford Tigers Supporters Club held their youth development performance evening at the Signs & Designs Restaurant.

At the event sponsored by Aysgarth Falls Hotel and Glasshus Facades guests were the Tigers’ head of youth performance Darren Higgins, under 19s head coach Tony Smith and players Lewis Peachey, Jake Sweeting, Taylor Cartwright, Jason Qareqare, Tom Hazelgrave and Will Shaw.

The evening got under way with an in depth presentation from Darren Higgins about how the club run and operate the youth development department, from talent identification at 13 years of age through to under 19s and hopefully first team.

He revealed the amount of staff involved, many volunteers, but also increasing full and part-time staff, dealing with scouting of players, mental health, strength and conditioning, diet and nutrition, physiotherapy, player welfare, team managers, coaches and assistants.

The club have also formed partnerships with Leeds Beckett University to cover mental skills and diet and nutrition and Glasshus Facades, who offer apprenticeships and study to BTEC level, for players following a career in rugby at U19 or community club level.

To help the players develop people skills the club also run activity days at the Prince of Wales hospice.

Audiences asked questions then in the second half of the evening were introduced to the young players from the academy and scholarship while Tony Smith spoke about how proud he was of all the players and how rewarding it was to see them develop into better players and people. The event made £87.75.

CTSC’s next two events will be a senior players evening on Tuesday, July 9, in the Signs & Designs Restaurant, 7.45pm, and an evening with the Castleford Tigers Women team, on Wednesday, August 14 at the Signs & Designs Restaurant, 7.30pm.