Salford Red Devil's First Term Roundup
Posted on 5th December 2018 at 15:54
The first term at Salford Red Devil's Academy has been a busy one and we thought we would round up some of the biggest Academy news stories and events from the year so far, as well as speak to a selection of students on their experiences so far. Including second year academy learner Ellis Snelgrove's fund-raising efforts for UK charity calm, as well as first year student Luis Robert's selection to train with the professional Super League first team.
Salford Red Devil's second year student Ellis Snelgrove completed a 70-mile walk from Rhyl, North Wales back to the AJ Bell Stadium (the home of Salford Red Devils) for CALM, a charity in the UK which campaigns to raise awareness, and prevent suicide in men which is the single biggest cause of death in men aged 20 to 45. We sat down with Ellis to chat all about the walk, as well as his plans for further fund-raising activities.
After three people close to him, between 2016 and 2018 sadly took their own lives, Ellis and a group of family and friends brainstormed fund-raising ideas to help raise money for CALM. Following various suggestions of different activities, 48 of them decided to organise a 70-mile walk from Rhyl to the AJ Bell stadium. Ellis was the youngest person to take part in the walk, completing it in an impressive 22 hours- and with no prior training beforehand!
On speaking to Ellis he told us that although he found the walk incredibly tough both physically and mentally, he was driven on to continue, “for the cause, it is so important, and a few blisters here and there is nothing compared to the suffering some people go through. I just kept thinking of the big picture and the reason I was doing it and that made me carry on- I couldn’t stop”. A very admirable and mature response from Ellis- a massive well done to him!
Ellis is already keen to get started on his next fund-raising initiative, with the next one scheduled for 2019 where he plans to cycle from Manchester to London with his Dad in aid of Cancer Research UK.
On speaking about Academy life in general, Ellis has enjoyed the beginning to his second (and final) year and he is working to better his results from last year. This year owing to an increase in numbers, there are two teams: the Red team (1st team) and the Black team (the 2nd team) and all students at the Academy move between the red and black team dependent upon performances in training and matches. There is a constant motivation to always do your best and to perform and stand out in training in order to earn a selection on the Academy first team. This is something which Ellis is relishing as he enjoys the prospect of always having to fight and earn a space on the Red team, particularly in comparison to last year you where smaller numbers meant that all students were "just in and didn’t have to fight for it, meaning performances could have sometimes been better"- this year everyone wants to work hard and prove themselves.
For his options beyond the Academy, if he does not achieve his goal of playing Rugby professionally, he would like to pursue a career as a nutritionist. This is a career he has identified as suitable for him, as it is an area he has really enjoyed learning about during his time at the Academy, and he feels it is an active role within the Sports industry that plays a massive part in the success of sportsmen and women...although he admits he is still a ‘just stick it in the basket’ kind of person!
We then spoke to first year student Luis Roberts, whose stand-out performances in training have earned him a 4 week trial to train with the Salford Red Devils Super League First Team.
Luis was "buzzing" to be called into a meeting first team Head Coach Ian Watson and informed that he had been selected to train with the team on a 4-week trial basis that could lead to a permanent spot if he impresses.
Although he has found that training with the first team is a big step up in terms of the pace of the training and the abilities and level of the players he was training with, he is relishing the chance to learn from the 1st team players, who have all been willing to help him and offer inside info and tips to help the young star.
Luis confided that at Secondary School he found Education a challenge and he struggled to apply himself academically, however at the Academy he is finding this less of a challenge and is enjoying the focus on Sports as a subject. He also credits this as being due to the support and guidance of his Onside tutors, as he is finding they are approachable and helpful; providing one-to-one support where needed and guiding him through his assignments.
First year student Morgan Kelly is enjoying the beginning to his time at the academy, with ambitions to be a professional Rugby player Morgan is excited to see how his time at the Academy will help him achieve this.
Unfortunately Morgan is currently sitting out training and games with an injury that he is awaiting surgery for. However he is enjoying travelling to games with the team and is learning a lot from a coaching perspective in observing the Academy coaches and the tactics employed.
The split between the Training and Education is also something he thinks works well as "you do the training in the morning which is the part you love and then the education in the afternoon so there is a balance which is good."
Morgan is enjoying learning about coaching as part of the course and is looking forward to gaining more practical experience in this as part of his time at the Academy.
Fellow first year student Sam Eyres goal to be a professional Rugby player was his main drive in joining the Academy. Sam has been playing Rugby since he was 6 years old, and he is enjoying furthering his Education and training in the elite facilities of a professional Rugby team. Reflecting on previous games and performances Sam has found it tough given that the Academy is a fairly young team, and matches held against other Academy's can be against teams of 18 and 19 year olds, however he feels on the basis of this the Academy is faring well and results are starting to come through.
With the end of term and Christmas approaching the students have been raising funds for their end of term day out. Second year student Dan Goddard was one of the learners to take part in a sponsored bag packing at Morrison's to fund raise for the day out and for the Academy and Salford Youth teams- raising a total of £700. Dan said it was an enjoyable day, and he is always willing to get involved when it comes to the Academy and the foundation as it benefits the youth teams.
Dan is enjoying his second year so far, particularly the more hands on and practical modules, where he has worked on creating diet and exercise plans. Once this year is completed Dan would like to further his Education, by either progressing onto study physiotherapy at University, or undertake an Apprenticeship qualification.
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