MOULTON College might be best known for a strong background of nearly 100 years in teaching agriculture, but the college has grown and developed over the decades to become a hub of subjects across areas as diverse as animal welfare, construction and sport.
Continuing Moulton's proud history of providing young people with the skills and qualifications to support employment opportunities is the Sports Academies programme, which sees young people passionate about sport combine the chance to continue playing at a high level in one of eight sports - athletics, basketball, cricket, football, golf, hockey, rugby and swimming - alongside their studies.
All are delivered in partnership with top sporting organisations, including national governing bodies and professional clubs, such as Northampton Town Football Club and Northampton Saints Rugby Club.
To ensure the delivery of these programmes is continually at the cutting edge, the college is pleased to announce the appointment of renowned rugby coach Dave Hesketh as manager and head coach of the Rugby Academy.
Dave is fresh from a two-year stint as forwards coach for South African side Griquas, where he helped guide them to qualification for the top-level Currie Cup premier division in 2016, and to the final of the SuperSport Challenge in 2017.
With previous experience and success as head of rugby at Oaklands College in Hertfordshire for eight years, Dave is relishing his new role at Moulton.
He said: "Moulton is an exciting challenge, and has the potential to be one of the strongest AASE colleges in the country.
"To have the chance to link closely with Northampton Saints and be based in one of the hotbeds of English rugby, the Midlands, is fantastic. With the available talent here, the college's excellent facilities and the good availability of accommodation, we can cater for high performance players from anywhere in the UK or around the world."
Just as important as the sport is the learning opportunities provided by the academies, which include commercial work experience for participants.
Dave added: "We must all work hard to raise the bar in term of our standards and expectations. On the academic side the challenge is to improve speaking, interaction, reliability and consistency: to convince students never to be satisfied with merely average.
"As in our football and basketball academies, our rugby players will be studying nutrition, psychology, performance analysis and fitness testing."
For more information on the Sports Academies at Moulton College, and details of the open day on Saturday, 23 June, visit www.moulton.ac.uk