1 Ashfield Road, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 1LH 
 
 
The academic year has begun across all of our partner Education & Sport Academies. We have seen huge growth in enrollment numbers this year- none more so than Salford Red Devils Academy! Off the back of this we headed down to the AJ Bell Stadium to meet our new first year learners at Salford (and of course to say welcome back to the returning second years!), we sat down for a quick chat with some of the newbies to get the lowdown on how they have found the start to their time at the Academy, including the start to the Rugby League season, the education, and THAT first week training camp in Wales.  
 
We heard from Brody, Lewis, James and Ben - and as they're the stars of this blog we'll let them lead... 
 
 
 
ON... THE TRAINING CAMP 
 
BRODY: It was hard! It was mostly fitness, we did activities like running up sand dunes and swimming. I didn’t really know anyone before so it helped a lot for me to get to know everyone and we all bonded very quickly- a lot quicker than I expected. 
 
LEWIS: Hard but fun! it cemented for all of us how hard training will be going forwards, but it was also a great team bonding exercise! 
The hardest part was a 4-mile jog first thing in the morning!  
 
JAMES: Tough! It was a laugh with the boys though- we had a great time! We bonded really quickly as well, and as I’m the only guy that goes here from Warrington I didn’t really know anybody that well but the trip really helped us all to make friends quickly
 
BEN: We all just got put together, which was good and we were given free time to get to know each other and have a laugh. It was a pretty tough week! Two 4-mile jogs with a 6am wake up!! It set us up for the training here though- which I do really like! Particularly the gym sessions, I like how intense they are because we’re all working together- you motivate each other and push each other on. 
 
 
 
ON... THE EDUCATION AT THE ACADEMY  
 
BEN: The academy so far is really good, I like the combination of education and training here, I like that we come in the morning and then it’s straight in, but that it is kept separate; its training in the morning and then lessons in the afternoon. The lessons are really good and I like the way it can be self-directed in that you can access your assignments online and on your phone and then you can work through them at your own pace.  
I’m actually really enjoying learning the Rugby rules (laughs) because even though I do play I don’t actually know all of the rules so I am actually enjoying that! 
 
 
LEWIS: So far I’m finding the academy really good! The rugby development was not the major pull coming here, it was actually the education and this was the course I wanted to do (The Level 3 BTEC 90 Credit and Extended Diploma in Sport). I did look into completing the course at a normal college but then the idea of being able to do the course I wanted and train/play Rugby in the day as well- and at quite a high level! was just a no brainer really, It’s a win-win! 
The balance between the education and training is good, I like how there are no breaks as well. It goes through all 3 days and then unlike college you don’t have long breaks and then have to keep coming back on other days. It also means that I can work on the 2 days I am not here- I work as a breakfast and after-school play worker.  
 
 
JAMES: I always knew I wanted to study sports at college, then the combination of that here with the Rugby was just ideal! It was also a natural progression for me to come here from being part of the U16's team and I have always wanted to play Rugby- there was nowhere else I wanted to go (laughs). The education specializes in Sport and that was the main attraction for me. I picked here over a traditional college purely because of the Rugby to be honest! The fact that I get to further my education in Sports, and as a part of that- train and play Rugby in this professional environment is mega! 
 
 
BRODY: I'm really enjoying it! I think the balance between education and training is perfect. I find the modules really interesting, I’ve always been interested in Sport, so the opportunity to study it more in depth is ideal for me. The assignments are a combination of theoretical and writing as well, I was motivated to come here more for the education as opposed to the Rugby; I enjoy Rugby of course and I’m good at it! but the main reason I’m here is for the quality of education that was offered at the Academy.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
ON... THE START OF THE SEASON 
 
LEWIS: Playing the first game last week was good, although it was a bit of a slap in the face as to how hard it’s going to be- they were big lads as well (laughs!), some a bit older than us too! Its all good though and it’ll toughen us up and then we can continue to push forwards. 
 
 
BEN: Although we lost both games last week, for our first outings as teams it was overall really good and it was a great learning experience as we were playing against sides that have been teams a lot longer than us. I played Winger last week but I am regularly a full back, although I have been looking at playing on the wing as well which is the good thing about the Academy- to be given that opportunity to develop and mix up your skills. 
 
 
BRODY: Playing my first game last week would actually have to be my highlight so far- unlike the others I’ve not played for Salford Red Devils before in the U16’s team or anything like that, so last week was my first time for Salford and I’ve always been a Salford fan so that was great! 
 
 
JAMES: We played last week with our season starting off and although both of our teams lost it was still good and we do have a strong group this year. 
 
 
 
 
 
ON... THE ACADEMY OVERALL AND FUTURE PLANS  
 
 
BRODY: It’s a really professional environment with great facilities for training and education. It’s good to be in the same environment as the 1st team; seeing them about the stadium- it really feels as though you’re at a professional standard. They let us on to and say hello and its great! 
After the Academy I want to go onto study at University as my ambition is to become a PE Teacher. 
 
 
JAMES: The facilities here are unreal! It’s mad seeing the first team around (laughs!), you’ll be walking upstairs and you’ll see them cruise past you and they’ll be like ‘alright mate’ and its sound! Its mad! 
I am most looking forward to playing Rugby during my time at the academy and learning about all of the aspects beyond it. As well as having a laugh with the boys on the pitch!  
 
 
BEN: Beyond the academy I’m obviously looking to play Rugby but other than that I’m looking into Sports Physiotherapy at University, although I do know someone who owns his own Physio Company so I am looking into the possibility of doing an apprenticeship there. 
 
 
LEWIS: It’s just a really good atmosphere here with all of the lads, the tutors, coaches and staff. I enjoy the Rugby and then the lessons are really good as well- I never really wake up and think "oh no I’ve got to go to college" its just a great atmosphere and it’s exactly what I hoped it would be. 
 
It was great speaking to all four boys and we are thrilled that they are so enthusiastic on beginning their time at the Academy, we are enthused to watch their progress over the next two years as they grow and develop both academically and athletically.  
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