Tackle It

29 Oct 2021

TACKLE IT Academy offers Rugby League pathway to players from minority ethnic backgrounds

TACKLE IT Academy offers Rugby League pathway to players from minority ethnic backgrounds

TACKLE IT Academy offers Rugby League pathway to players from minority ethnic backgrounds

Talented young players from minority ethnic backgrounds are being invited to join Rugby League’s ground-breaking new TACKLE IT Academy.

The Academy will offer players from communities which have been under-represented a whole-athlete performance programme, supporting their development as players alongside studying for the nationally recognised Diploma in Sporting Excellence.

Any young players who are currently Year 12 students and not part of one of Rugby League’s elite academies are invited to a Talent Identification Day on Saturday 6 November at Calderdale College, Halifax (1-4pm). Presentations to players, parents and guardians will be followed by training, including testing and skill-based activities.

Phil Jones, RFL Talent Inclusion Manager, says: "In Rugby League we've always been proud of our record on diversity and the outstanding contributions from great players such as Clive Sullivan, Ellery Hanley and Martin Offiah. But the reality is that our sport is not fully representative of our communities, and we miss out on immense talent and untapped potential.

"This programme is about unlocking this potential and I’m really excited about what the TACKLE IT Academy can offer players from under-represented communities."

The Diploma in Sporting Excellence is supported by Sport England and is undertaken at the training camps and online alongside students’ regular subjects they are already studying at sixth form or other further education settings . The diploma is a BTEC Level 3 qualification recognised by the universities admissions service UCAS and is worth 64 points.

Within Rugby League, 60 players on the Women’s pathway are already studying towards it as well as athletes from 31 other Performance sports.

The TACKLE IT Academy offers:

  • Regular training camps (held at weekends and in holidays)
  • Coaching from members of the England Performance Unit and qualified RFL staff
  • Observation and assessment when playing for their community club or college team
  • Free training kit
  • Potential graduation to one of Rugby League’s elite academies and the professional game
  • Personalised supportive and valuable qualifications towards careers within and outside of Rugby League

Anybody interested in attending the Talent Identification Day on Saturday, November 6, can book their place now at by clicking below:

Tackle It Academy Identification Day

More information is available from Phil Jones:

TACKLE IT is Rugby League’s game-wide action plan to make the sport truly inclusive by tackling discrimination and breaking down any barriers to involvement. Diversifying the game's talent pool is one of four strategic goals which are underpinned by wide-ranging actions, such as the launch of the TACKLE IT Academy.