Huddersfield Giants have announced the launch of an RFL 'Category 3 Academy', in partnership with the Huddersfield Elite Sports Education Academy.
Category 3 Academies offer students a pathway to professional Rugby League in an education setting.
A college who has this status has a formal partnership with a Professional Rugby League Club and is committed to providing a high performance player development environment that meets the RFL standards, while allowing students to continue their further education study.
The Rugby League Development Programme will launch in September 2017 and will offer youngsters a first class Education in sport, alongside training and playing Rugby League in a professional environment.
The launch of the Development Programme provides a second Category 3 pathway for aspiring young Rugby League players in West Yorkshire and the surrounding areas - the new set-up will provide an additional phase in the Huddersfield Giants Performance Pathway.
The scholars will represent Huddersfield Giants in the College Rugby League divisions and will benefit from an elite player development programme, consisting of weekly training sessions, strength and conditioning and competitive fixtures, all under the leadership of highly-qualified Rugby League coaches.
Alongside the player development programme, the scholars will study the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport Performance and Excellence.
The 2-year qualification is the equivalent to 3 A-Levels and provides students with a valuable insight into the variety of subjects within the sporting industry. Physiology, psychology, nutrition and fitness testing are just some of the Rugby League-related subject areas that will be explored.
Huddersfield Elite Sports Education Academy has already made a name for itself by offering Futsal Scholarships and many students over the last three years have progressed into Higher Education, Scholarships in the USA and employment in the sports industry.
The Education Academy also currently deliver the academic curriculum to the Huddersfield Giants Academy Scholars.
Principal James Mahoney said of the launch: "We are very excited to announce the introduction of the Rugby League Development Programme in partnership with Huddersfield Giants.
"The Scholarship will give young players the chance to study a full-time academic qualification, whilst also developing themselves as Rugby League players.
"At Huddersfield ESEA we place a huge emphasis on creating a professional environment for young people to succeed both on and off the pitch."
Giants Head of Youth Andy Kelly added: "I am excited by the development programme.
"It has a natural fit and sits parallel with what we are trying to achieve.
"Rugby League is notoriously a late development sport and what we are allowing for here is players who have not quite got there yet and who maybe deserve a second chance.
"From a performance and academy point of view it gives us a chance to work with more players and monitor their progress. There are some good examples throughout the game at the moment of people from other clubs who have actually come from the Category 3 element of the game into the academies and into Super League.
"Connectivity is really important so having the performance players alongside development programme players in the Education Academy is going to be an incentive for each to mix and aim to bridge the gap."
For more information and to apply, click HERE.