University expands partnership following roaring success
Last year saw Masters students from the university supporting Castleford’s Scholarship players around nutrition and mental skills development.
Now, as the project enters its second year, junior players at the Super League rugby club will be provided with expert psychology and nutrition support in a bid to develop their professional skills.
The expanded partnership will include diet and nutrition provision for the club’s part-time Under-18s and Reserves players for 2020.
Debbie Smith, Lecturer in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie School of Sport, heralded the partnership.
She said: “We are delighted to be working with Castleford Tigers for another year, providing psychology and nutrition support to their junior players.
“It's a great opportunity for our Masters students to gain experience of working in an applied environment.
“Students are mentored through our psychology practicum module and sport and exercise nutrition applied practice programme to develop their professional skills.
“As a result, players receive education workshops and one to one support where appropriate, informed by the cutting-edge research undertaken at Leeds Beckett University, enhancing their development on their journey to play at a senior level.”
The Tigers’ Academy mental skills support will be led by Cameron Bains, who has worked for the club on a voluntary basis as a postgraduate Masters student.
Castleford’s Head of Youth Performance Darren Higgins said: “It’s with great pleasure we see our partnership with Leeds Beckett University continue and evolve.
“The support and provision provided to our young players last year was hugely beneficial and of a very high standard which is a great reflection on the university.
“As a club we aim to develop our players holistically, in order to give them every chance of pursuing a career in the game.
“The provision provided by Leeds Beckett around sports psychology and nutrition plays a big part in this and we once again look forward to utilising their skills and expertise around these key areas.”
Photos courtesy of Castleford Tigers RLFC