Worcester Warriors’ players have been broadening their interests recently through The RPA (Rugby Players’ Association) Player Development Programme, which aims to individually support, guide and assist players in their personal and professional development and also provides an opportunity to fulfil their potential and prepare for life after rugby.
While rugby must remain the priority at this stage of their career,The RPA Player Development Programme encourages players to put their free time now to productive use in preparation for the future. This basically means downing the PS3 and picking up some useful qualifications, trades or work experience.
Tonga international and Worcester hooker, Aleki Lutui, is working towards gaining his level three coaching badge and has agreed to join the coaching set-up at Midlands Two West South club Kidderminster RUFC. Lutui will join the club on a part-time basis and lead skills sessions when his commitments allow.
“Tim Nicholls of the Rugby Players’ Association has been the driving force behind this,” said Lutui. “He’s been encouraging elite players to gain coaching experience in their local clubs in preparation for doing their coaching awards, which many professional players now value highly. I’m really keen to gain practical coaching experience to fulfil my coaching ambition. Both the Kidderminster players and myself are enjoying the sessions and it is certainly helping me develop my skills”.
Dale Rasmussen and Marcel Garvey are two good examples of players who have begun to explore future career options available to them. Rasmussen is currently working with Thursfield Solicitors in Worcester, gaining experience for a possible career in the legal profession. Marcel Garvey has spent time with Borwell Software Solutions in Worcester as he looks to turn an interest in IT into a career.
Rasmussen said: “Having studied law, I’m gaining invaluable experience of most aspects of this general practice firm. I’m getting exposure that I need to help me identify what areas of law I’m interested in when I finally retire from rugby.”
Garvey added: “I studied business computing and have been working as a cyber engineer, networking and cabling at their offices. I’m finding this useful experience for my future within the IT industry”.
The club also enjoys a successful partnership with the Worcester College of Technology which offers the players specialised courses in personal development, vocational study and academic qualifications. The club is extremely supportive of player education and believes in their players playing an active role in the community and putting their skills to good use.
If you would like to know more about The RPA Player Development Programme or how to get involved, please contact RPA Player Development Manager Tim Nicholls on 07738 029 161 or tnicholls@theRPA.co.uk or visit www.theRPA.co.uk