The Salford Red Devils Education Academy received fantastic grades this academic year and student Jack Ratcliffe now finds himself training with the first team.
Ratcliffe said: “I’ve just always been into rugby and I wanted to study sport as well and, obviously, the course gave me that option so it was immediately appealing to me.
“If rugby is the path you want to go down then they should get onto the course as quickly as possible.
“It’s a BTEC sport that you do and the majority of the stuff is based around rugby and the course covers all aspects of sport.
“It’s just being in the professional environment which is so helpful, you’ve got all the facilities such as the state of the art gym, the pitches and the classrooms.
“Danny Barton is a great coach who coached me at U16’s and he is brilliant with the students and really helps develop you on the field.”
Students take part in three intensive days of education learning and sports training per week while having free days to take up work experience opportunities, enrichment placements, one-to-one tutorials or any other avenues they wish to pursue.
The main programme of study is the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport which covers a wide variety of modules that focus on both practical and theoretical aspects of sports.
Ratcliffe said: “The practical stuff is going out and playing rugby on the pitches and the astroturf as well as getting to use the gyms on site.
“While the theory covers a range of things linked to sport for example nutrition, technique, training and your body.”
Ratcliffe has begun training with the first team in recent weeks and is enjoying life as a Salford Red Devil.
He said: “Yeah, I’m loving it with the first team. It’s a massive step up and the training is hard but it’s making me a better player and it’s a great opportunity.
“The lads have welcomed me into the group and I’m fitting in well so it’s all good at the moment.”