The Tom Maynard Trust and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) have extended their partnership for a further three years, with the Trust sponsoring the RPA’s annual Academy Induction Day programme for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The Academy Induction Day takes place each rugby union pre-season, this year’s event being held at Lilleshall on 24th August, with all newly contracted academy players from the Aviva Premiership, Bristol Rugby, Yorkshire Carnegie and England 7s. Its aim is to educate, offer guidance to and inspire young academy players about their future careers. The players are given information on the opportunities available to them as well as the potential risks associated with professional sport, while also being reminded of the importance of developing as individuals and preparing for life after rugby.
The induction programme, which the Trust has supported since 2013, includes a range of different rugby perspectives, with the players rotating their way through interactive seminars and activities covering subjects such as social media; working with the media; agents; personal responsibility and the law; gambling awareness and money management.
Mike Fatkin, on behalf of the Tom Maynard Trust, said:
“We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with the RPA for a further three years. Education is a key element of our work as a Trust, and we work across a number of sports to deliver key messages. Having seen for myself this year the way the Academy Induction Day is set up, it looks to be a perfect vehicle to help communicate those messages.
As a youngster coming into professional sport, all you want to do is play the game; you don’t think about anything like pensions, the law, dealing with the media, or lifestyle – you only think about playing, or maybe about being able to drive a nice car. You don’t consider the potential dangers that are out there and few young sportspeople develop any kind of ‘Plan B’ in case things don’t work out. At a young age you believe you are invincible and sadly we know that is not the case.”
RPA Rugby Director Richard Bryan said:
“It’s fantastic to know that the Tom Maynard Trust has committed to support the RPA Academy Induction Day for a further three years.
As a game we have a responsibility to educate these youngsters who will be growing up in the spotlight. They will be playing in a highly pressurised and competitive environment and people will be interested in what they are doing both on and off the field. It’s important for these young people to become great ambassadors and role models for the sport for years to come. With the help of the Tom Maynard Trust we can educate them about life in professional sport and the potential pitfalls they need to be aware of.”