School for champions

PUBLISHED: 16:21 30 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:48 20 February 2013

School for champions

School for champions

Rugby great Phil de Glanville has a new challenge – creating sports stars of the future at Hartpury College.

School for champions

Rugby great Phil de Glanville has a new challenge creating sports stars of the future at Hartpury College.

When it comes to achieving sporting success, Phil de Glanville is certainly well-positioned to talk about it.

He started his professional rugby playing career at Bath Rugby Club making 189 appearances, scoring 53 tries and amassing 250 points in a 12-year career. He made his debut for the England Rugby Union Squad in 1992 and went on to win 38 caps including two World Cups. He succeeded Will Carling as captain in 1996.

Phil went on to join the Sport England in a variety of roles over 8 years, with the last as sport relationship manager for 5 National Governing Bodies of Sport.

Now he is the new boy at Hartpury College in a new role as Director of Elite Sport responsible for the management of the colleges seven sports academies which include rugby, football, netball, golf, rowing, modern pentathlon and equine.

The Hartpury Academy of Sport is one of the leading academies in the country and has achieved considerable success since its inception in 2002. In the last five years Hartpury has won 30 major sports titles and to date has produced over 100 international athletes.Phil plans to build on that success.

I would like to see us move on to the next level and really focus on individual talent development and prepare them for world class competition, he said.

What sets Hartpury apart from other sports academies is the unique combination of the high quality education and coaching. After GCSEs, pupils can join Hartpury to combine their academic studies with training and competing at an elite standard. It means for young people with real sporting talent, theres no need to sacrifice studies for sport.

As a sportsman who juggled a career and playing rugby as an amateur, Phil personally knows the importance of developing ones sporting skills at the same time as carrying on with studies to prepare one for the workplace.

Many sports people may not make it to the very top of their sport, or if they do, they finish competing when they are 30 and ask what do I do now. By studying here you will finish with skill sets and qualifications that you will be able to fall back on.

There are about 250 students involved in the elite section of the sports academy and are focussing on the seven sports available. At the Academy they will get one-to-one coaching and access to a range of support services in everything from nutrition to psychology to physical conditioning.

For those who join at 16 it is a huge change - and challenge. It will be the first time they have lived away from home and likely to be the first time they have been exposed to the experiences we can provide. For them it will be a huge step up in their sports development.

Vice Principal Luke Rake said: Phil brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge of elite sport and this will ensure that the college can develop and strengthen its academy structure. Its also an opportunity to build on the outstanding education and sports achievements gained so far and the colleges reputation of being one of the best in the country for sporting excellence.

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