In 1997, Ivybridge Community College became one of the first of eleven Sports Colleges in the country. In the ensuing 18 years, 22 of its former students have gone on to play in the Premiership and across Europe.
Not only have we developed a large number of rugby players to move on to play at the very highest level in our sport, but we are justifiably proud of our record in developing a large number of players who are currently playing at many junior and National League level clubs at all levels throughout the Devon County.
Our partnership with the Exeter Chiefs and their Academy is an outstanding example of how a Premiership club and its feeder system can work to produce players of the highest calibre. Prime examples of this are Ben Moon, Sam Hill and Dave Ewers.
Our College is unique in many ways but, the primary point of difference between Ivybridge and other Colleges who participate in the AASE League (apart from St Pauls, London Irish & Beechen Clift, Bath) is that our College rugby programme and partnership with the Chiefs commences at U12 running through to U18 with the ability to remain in education here until the student is in his 19th year.
The College internal development programme is overseen and reviewed regularly by the Chiefs staff and covers all the key areas of elite performance ranging from diet & nutritional lectures through to high level paediatric conditioning with our outstanding and experienced elite support staff.
Selection for the senior AASE League & Chiefs Academy U17 & U18 squads is the pinnacle for all our aspiring young College rugby players to be achieving by the end of their junior programme. This selection will then act as a catalyst for the next stage of the players’ development to either move on to higher level of senior/professional rugby or into a high level HE establishment with a strong rugby programme.
A major goal for each of the players within the College as they progress through the programme is to gain selection for the Chiefs DPP & EPDG squads. We currently have a number of our most talented young rugby players involved at all levels of the Chiefs player development pathway including participation in the U17 & U18 Chiefs Academy sides.
A “day in the life” of all of our players involved either in our internal junior development process or the senior AASE squad is that of a professional sportsman. The attention to detail and high level coaching in conjunction with specific academic timetabling allows our players to flourish and grow with confidence; educated and nurtured by an outstanding support staff whose experience is drawn from the very highest levels of rugby and paediatric conditioning. A further point of difference, from our perspective, is how closely the elite rugby process and a rigorous academic programme work together hand in hand.
Our elite internal students are gaining outstanding results in their GCSEs whilst our current Upper VI form leavers are gaining outstanding A level & distinction starred National Diploma results whilst in the elite rugby programme.
Our programme is recognised as an AASE model for both its academic credibility in conjunction with an outstanding educational elite rugby programme. Much of this success is down to the outstanding relationship between the academic and elite performance staff who provide a caring and inclusive support system which allows all the rugby students to flourish in all areas of their lives during their time at Ivybridge Community College.
Planning for a life beyond College
We are very proud of the multiple option pathways that extend from the rugby programme. We have students leaving us to move on to HE establishments such as Exeter University, Cardiff Met & Durham University in addition to clubs in the Championship and National Leagues. The vision for our rugby students, linked to a caring pastoral approach, is one which includes preparing each of our students with an individual plan for a life beyond Ivybridge Community College.
For more information:
Please contact Bob Crooks – Director of Rugby