Sporting Academy athlete earns England call up

Photo of Medway Sporting Academy athlete Rebecca Wadhams playing rugby for KentMedway Sporting Academy athlete Rebecca Wadhams has been selected for the Rugby Football Union's England Talented Development Group.

Rebecca, who began her career at Medway Rugby Club, is among a group of 30 girls at under 15 level selected to attend the development group. The group's aim is to improve the girls' playing skills with a view to them making it in to the under 18 squad.

The development group includes profiling meetings with senior internationals, used to discuss how each girl's career is progressing. Rebecca's meeting is with Maggie Alphonsi, a key member of the England women's rugby team that finished runner-up in the 2010 World Cup.

Rebecca now plays for Aylesford RFC, after moving from Medway RFC at the end of the 2009/10 season.  Since moving to Aylesford Rebecca has also been selected for Kent, London and South East squads.

Rebecca has been a member of Medway Sporting Academy since its inception in 2009.

The Sporting Academy selects a crop of Year 5 and 6 pupils each year for expert coaching. The boys and girls are chosen based on core skills and characteristics including speed, balance, co-ordination and reactions. 

Once in the Sporting Academy coaches work to improve athletes' abilities in these key, transferrable areas, while they pursue sports in one of Medway's many clubs.

"I feel very excited and special to have been given this opportunity," said Rebecca of her England selection.

"I play number 10, fly half, which is my favourite position. It involves making decisions as to who gets the ball and where the ball is going. It means I'm really involved in how the game unfolds."

Now in phase three of the Sporting Academy, Rebecca has progressed from physical coaching to working with the University of Kent's Centre for Sports Studies staff who provide all phase three athletes with expert advice in support areas including nutrition, injury treatment and psychology.

Rebecca follows in the footsteps of Medway Elite Athlete and Kent Community Rugby Coach Rachael Burford, who also began her career at Medway Rugby Club before going on to play in two world cup finals.


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