A fantastic move for the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation will see four members of the Wigan Warriors Under 19s squad join as community coaches.
The Foundation have significantly developed over the past 12 months and with ever increasing staff demands due to the expansion of their delivery this opportunity was not one to be missed.
Gabriel Fell, Luke Waterworth, Nick Gregson and Kieron Sherratt will join the Foundation part-time while still fulfilling their duties with the Under 19s team. They will play a key role in delivering coaching sessions as part of the Foundation's local High School and Primary School delivery. Luke, Nick and Kieron were a vital part of the Wigan team which defeated Warrington in last years Under 19s Grand Final and will bring real quality to the Warriors Foundation team.
Past Wigan player, Sam Tomkins worked for the Community Foundation to aid his own personal development before he broke into the Warriors first team, demonstrating the impact this type of experience can have on young players. All four academy players went through an official application process producing a CV and covering letter concluding with an interview, offering them vital life skills.
The move also signals growth in the relationship between the Warriors Foundation and the Warriors Performance department, establishing a tangible pathway from community rugby league to the Wigan Warriors first team squad.
Commenting on the recent development, Foundation General Manager Martin McLoughlin said:
"To have players of this calibre working in our community programme coaching all week in local schools is a huge positive for the Foundation. It clearly shows our intentions to expand and demonstrates the importance the club places on developing quality young adults in our academy as well as quality players.
"Having these four extra coaches will allow us to deliver in more schools than ever before and will offer the lad's vital experience should their career take a different path. With their experience of the Wigan culture and the knowledge passed down from the clubs coaching staff, they will all make fantastic community coaches who will help develop future under 19s players.
"It is fantastic timing for the Community Foundation having secured a long term partnership with Sky TV to support the work that we do."
Pleased with the young player's new roles, Head of Youth Development Matthew Peet said:
"All four of them are quality young players and we are delighted to have them with our academy, but I'm even more pleased that they recognise the need to develop as young men and increase their employability. I'm really proud of what they're doing, we encourage and help all our young players to develop off the pitch so they can sustain a career away from rugby league."