Newcastle Thunder and TyneMet College have agreed a new three-year partnership deal that will see the North Tyneside College become the exclusive further education provider of the club.  

The official partnership between TyneMet and Newcastle Thunder offers aspiring sports stars and those interested in a career in the sports industry the chance to train and qualify at the world renowned Kingston Park Stadium.

Students will benefit from the opportunity to play rugby league for the Thunder’s academy in the RFL’s Super League Academy or the Tier 3 Elite Colleges League.  The College already delivers the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sports Excellence (Rugby League) at the Kingston Park Stadium and the partnership promises to build upon this success.

The new course will run from September 2016 and is aimed at 16-19 year olds with a passion for rugby league and the desire to work in the sports industry. It provides an excellent platform for progression within the industry – the chance to work and train alongside rugby professionals in first class facilities is a unique experience.

The course offers Tier 3 playing and Tier 2 – the latter prepares rugby players for the highest of rugby aspirations – becoming a professional player as first team members of the Newcastle Thunder squad.

As a main partner of Newcastle Thunder, the new away shirt will include TyneMet branding as the College enter a three-year sponsorship agreement with the club.

Speaking about the new partnership Thunder General Manager Keith Christie commented;

“It’s fantastic news that TyneMet College have agreed to partner the club for the next three years.  As one of the leading colleges in the north of England they add massive kudos to our Academy Programme.  Already after less than one year of the existing course being run we have seen huge gains made by our current cohorts in their academic achievements, sporting prowess and their social development as young men. 

 We now look forward now to extending the programme and also working with TyneMet College to demonstrate the many benefits that their sponsorship will bring.  There’s an incredible amount of rugby league development work that has been going on for some time in the 13 – 16 age group.  We believe that this will create a big demand for this course and with it academic and sporting success” 

TyneMet’s Head of Curriculum for Sport, Warick Stephenson, said: “The partnership further strengthens TyneMet’s long standing success and reputation for delivering the latest in employer led qualifications whilst widening our distinctive course portfolio. Our aim as an education provider is to supply the skills employers require and to equip young people with the relevant expertise, qualifications and experience to be successful in the industry. The current course has been very well received and we have had amazing feedback from learners and employers. We’re really excited about the new course, it offers top talent the very best in sports education, with the opportunity to play professionally.” 

Audrey Kingham, Deputy Principal of Curriculum and Business Development at TyneMet said: “We are thrilled to be the exclusive education partner for Newcastle Thunder. The College is driven by meeting the aspirations and dreams of our learners through qualifications that are relevant, innovative and industry recognised. Thunder shares the College’s vision in providing excellence in education, combined with industry insight to offer an invaluable learning experience underpinned by fantastic, academic teaching.”

Newcastle Thunder Chairman Bill Midgley MBE “The partnership sees two very successful north east organisations collaborating to provide the very best in sports education. This is a very positive and strategic move for Newcastle Thunder; the partnership enables Thunder to capitalise on the very best talent in the region, future-proofing the clubs success.