The National Academy was set up last year in a bid to provide a support structure to those players deemed to have the potential to represent Wales at Senior International level. The players are all aged between 16 and 22 and under the guidance of Academy Coordinator, Zoe Eaton, complete academic (NVQ) and practical coaching qualifications as well as receiving regular performance lifestyle support.
Academy Coordinator, Zoe Eaton, commented, 'all of the girls are part-time, amateur players; they fit their rugby in around their education or their careers. In order to do this they, in essence, have to be more professional, especially when it comes to time management and planning their seasons. Booking time off school, work or University for Six Nations competitions and overseas tours has to be thought about at the beginning of the season. From the performance lifestyle sessions they attend, they'll all learn the importance of planning ahead when it comes to things most of us take for granted, like pre-match snacks. Being in the Academy will prepare the girls to overcome these obstacles, and the fact that they also gain qualifications of value will only be of benefit to them in the future.'
The National Academy secured a partnership deal with the Esporta Health Clubs and through this deal the players in the Academy receive a bursary and a complimentary gym membership to the Esporta Clubs.
Being able to use the facilities at Esporta is a fantastic bonus, the gyms have everything a potential international rugby player would need and the players can go and relax in the pool after a hard weights session.