Super League club players set to excel at Loughborough College

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Super League club players who already excel in their sport working with Halifax Elite Rugby Academy are set to do the same off the pitch at Loughborough College.

Alongside the growing success of their rugby careers, Hull FC’s Nick Rawsthorne and Wakefield Trinity’s Titus Gwaze have embarked respectively on BSc and BA Honours degree studies in Sports Coaching and Sport Management with the College.

A Loughborough College partnership with Halifax ERA takes the number of players studying for degrees with the College and currently on programmes with the Academy - or in Nick’s case working as a mentor and coach – to eight.

“There was no doubt in my mind that Loughborough College was where I wanted to be for my degree. Its reputation precedes it for education and they really understand the demands of elite sport. My training and playing schedule can be intense but the College can accommodate that,” said Rawsthorne, 22, who made his professional debut for Halifax in 2016 and has now signed a three year deal with Hull.

“It’s brilliant Hull has seen some potential in me. Hopefully I’m going to be a regular. But I also recognise the importance of my degree. I know from other players and trainers how the knowledge you gain can enhance your game but rugby is also a short career plus I could be injured at any time – and however and whenever it finishes, I don’t want an average job at the end of it.”

Gwaze, 18, signed his contract with Wakefield less than a month ago. “I’ve been playing rugby for eight years, since my uncle got me into it. It’s brilliant to be at Wakefield but I’ve also really been enjoying the education side of things while I’ve been with Halifax Elite Rugby Academy, so I was eager to carry on – and Loughborough College is top class so there was no doubt in my mind where I was headed.

“I’m really looking forward to getting into my degree course at the College and this is such a big time for me, signing my first professional contract. I can’t wait to get playing.”

‘The partnership with Halifax ERA is important as it continues to help young players balance education and elite performance,” said Matt O’Dowd , sport work related learning manager at Loughborough College.

“Our blended degree programme enables players to continue to develop from the coaching and games programme offered by Halifax ERA and from flexible, high quality education offered by us at Loughborough College. This allows talented players to continue to progress with their aspirations of playing professional club rugby at the same time as preparing for a career in the sports industry.’

“It’s fantastic to have Nick and Titus join us. They’re at different stages of their careers but with the degree learning we offer, each can successfully combine their academic development with the commitments of their sport.

“I hope Nick, Titus and the host of leading sports people who are current and former students encourage other athletes to study for degrees with us while excelling in their sport,” added Luke Gilbert, higher education sport curriculum manager at Loughborough College.

Pictured: (from left) Loughborough College degree students and Super League club players Titus Gwaze and Nick Rawsthorne

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