After launching in September 2020, the Richard Huish College and Bristol Bears partnership has gone from strength-to-strength and looks to continue in an upward trajectory with some exciting things planned for the development of the relationship.
The joint venture between Huish and Bristol Bears aims to enhance the rugby development provision in Taunton and West Somerset. Already, some 14 players from the Huish rugby squad have been part of the Bristol Bears Junior Academy programme with three players currently training weekly alongside the Bristol Bears U18 team and numbers expected to develop expeditiously as the partnership strengthens.
Keith Leaker, Bristol Bears Junior Academy Coach, said: “It’s a very exciting venture and I have found working with the staff and students at Huish very enjoyable, with lots of learnings from both sides. We have been made very welcome and now feel very much part of the Huish Tigers Team. A big thank you to Chris Heal and all involved for their help to make this new venture so positive from day one.”
Speaking on the development opportunities for those who join the academy and the potential pathway it opens to progress to Bristol Bears first team, Keith added: “Our close working relationship means that any players that meet the standards expected of potential Bears players will be identified early. This could then open up opportunities for players to represent Bears at U18s. Lots of hard work and high performance within Bears Senior Academy and when representing Bears in the U18s Academy league could lead to future opportunity with Bears at the next level.”
The future of the partnership looks exciting with plans within the ambitious project to install a new 3G training pitch at Huish. The continued investment by both organisations indicates their dedication to reach the highest levels of College Rugby in the UK and offer players who wish to pursue academic excellence a specialised rugby programme that allows them to achieve their full potential.