The Independent London Newspaper



Feature: Play like a Saint at Monarch Airline’s Rugby Academies

Published: 23 July, 2013

IN locations across eastern England, three thousand rugby players between ages 7 and 16 are using summer school holidays to build their futures.

The Northampton Saints Rugby Club offers first-class training and development at Monarch Airline’s Rugby Academies throughout the school summer holidays. For the Saints and Monarch, the arrangement is a win-win. Monarch flights are convenient for the traveling Saints, while Monarch’s support builds opportunities for discovering new rugby talent.

Kevin George, Monarch Airlines’ Managing Director, explains: “We understand the key to a successful partnership is to work with the club and their supporters not only to meet their flying requirements but to support them and the local community throughout the year. Helping to inspire and develop future rugby stars is a key part of this and we are delighted that so many children have been able to benefit from our continued sponsorship of the Academy.”

The Rugby Academies have gained a reputation as being significant for the identification of talent, making them fertile ground for rising young rugby stars. Indeed, some Academy players have moved on to win England honours and earn full-time contracts.

Ross Stewart, Elite Player Development Group Manager of the Northampton Saints, commented that he was “particularly delighted that since Monarch has been involved we have been able to identify some very talented young players like Jordan Onojaife, who came from Dubai to the residential camp at Stowe. Jordan earned himself a rugby scholarship at Stowe School for the sixth form, then joined the Junior Saints Academy and went on to play for England under-18s, winning a full-time contract for next season.”

Each Academy is run by a group of Saints-qualified community coaches. Sessions also involve Senior Academy squads and members of the Saints’ first team. Locations for this summer’s three-day camps include Banbury RFC, Oundle School and Ipswich YM RFC. In addition, Stowe School in Buckinghamshire hosts three- and five-day residential Academies.

In the words of Ross Stewart, “Monarch Airlines’ investment into our rugby academies is invaluable and has given us the ability to expand our programme of camps. This will give more youngsters the opportunity to receive top class coaching. As we start the build-up towards the next Rugby World Cup here in England in 2015, Monarch Airlines’ support is helping to inspire the next generation of rugby players into taking up the sport and developing their skills.”

Learn more about the Academies, get a venue list, and make a booking at the Saints’ website today. After rugby training, take the rest of the week off for summer fun abroad for the whole family. Check out some summer deals at CheapFlights for Monarch flights, accommodations, great tips for your holidays, and more.


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