Building A New Team: Take Your Place and Cambridge Rugby Club

While Covid-19 and Lockdown may have put many sporting fixtures on hold, neaco’s Cambridge and Peterborough team have been busy working behind the scenes and are delighted to announce a new partnership with Cambridge Rugby Club. Following the successful introduction of the club’s BTEC Academy in 2019, the team will be working closely to support players and their families in making informed decisions around potential next steps, both on and off the pitch. The Cambridge Vipers Academy sees students aged 16-18 enrol on a sports scholarship programme, combining their passion for Rugby while working towards a BTEC Level 3 Sports qualification. 

Kate McCormack, the neaco Higher Education Champion who will be supporting Cambridge Rugby Club commented that ‘this is an exciting opportunity both for the Take Your Place Team and Cambridge Rugby Club. This collaboration will allow us to spend time working closely with the players to help them understand their goals and aspirations and support them on their journey; whether this is studying at university while continuing to playing Rugby or channelling their passion for the sport into other avenues. ‘

Chairman Rob Dean commented

‘We are really pleased to partner with NEACO and their ‘Take Your Place’ initiative. As a club, we pride ourselves on supporting our players with their on and off field development. We feel that the excellent track record and reputation that NEACO have will offer another uniue opportunity for our players and enhance their career opportunities’.

Director of Rugby Richie Williams added

 ‘We are always looking at creative ways in which we can enhance our provision at the club. After introducing our BTEC Academy last year, we feel that our players would benefit immeasurably in receiving extra support and guidance around their next steps. We are working really hard on augmenting our current pathway and believe that the Take Your Place scheme will assist our players who would like to attend University. This ties into the clubs long term recruitment and retention plan and supports our vision around being a supportive environment.’

Students wishing to find out more information about joining the BTEC Academy can contact Richie directly via e-mail:

Neaco is a partner of the Uni Connect programme funded by the Office for Students. The Office for Students is the independent regulator for higher education in England. Our aim is to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.

The Take Your Place programme is delivered by the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (neaco), which aims to increase the number of young people from underrepresented backgrounds in higher education and degree level apprenticeships by 2021. neaco is a partnership of five universities and nine further education colleges across East Anglia and is one of 29 partnerships across England which together form the Uni Connect programme.