The long-standing partnership between Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) and Bristol Bears premiership rugby club has resulted in the creation of a new Bears Aspire Centre based at the Bridgwater Campus.
The new centre will provide local Bristol Bears athletes additional opportunities to support their overall development. Players will attend BTC three times a week as part of Bristol Bears Aspire and Excel programmes.
Heading up the new Aspire Centre at BTC is Roy Davies (pictured) who joins BTC as a full-time Rugby Development Manager. Davies is a Junior Academy Excel coach for Bristol Bears and a former Premier 15s Head Coach for Worcester Warriors and Bristol Bears. Supporting Davies in the Aspire Centre will be Brett Harvey and Luke Payne, established Bears’ Aspire coaches.
Jason Gunningham, Vice Principal at BTC, said: “This partnership and appointment is another example of how, at BTC, we are determined to ensure our students have access to the best resources and coaching teams in their pursuit of sporting excellence.
“I am delighted Roy Davies is joining us to run the Bears Aspire Centre, his track record as a professional sportsman will enhance our rugby programme and enable students to gain a real insight into a career in professional sport and the pathways and opportunities available.”
Roy Davies added: “It’s an exciting time for rugby at BTC, and our partnership with Bears is part of the vision to be the leading provider in Somerset. The new role will allow us to grow the performance support elements of our programmes, such as strength and conditioning, injury prevention and analysis. This will enable us to provide an elite rugby experience that sits alongside the outstanding educational offer already in place.
“From a coaching perspective having three Level 3 coaches is almost unprecedented for a college programme, and the benefits of that are already being seen with the development of our players on a daily basis. Having a Bears Aspire programme based on site, as well as the already established Excel South group here twice a week, is a real endorsement of our outstanding college facilities. It’s great to see local players from a range of schools and clubs benefitting.”
Bristol Bears Junior Academy Manager, Gary Townsend, said: “We are delighted with Roy’s appointment as Director of Rugby at Bridgwater & Taunton College. Roy has been coaching with the Bristol Bears Junior Rugby Academy for several years. The mission to help young people to maximise potential on and off the pitch aligns itself to the culture of both the Bears and BTC – Roy is the perfect person to promote our partnership and shared values.’’
BTC is one of the only a few colleges in the UK to be accredited as a TASS dual-career centre further validating BTC is an outstanding provider of both academic and sporting support for elite-level athletes.
For more information on the Team BTC Rugby programme or to find out more about the partnership itself contact Roy Davies firstname.lastname@example.org, 01278 441322.