Adrenalin rush is flanks to college programme
He’s a rugby player that values speed as much as contact. And he reckons the adrenalin rush from being on the pitch is something else. This is why Harry Pitt loves being able to combine rugby training with a college diploma in Sports Performance and Excellence.
“Not many sixth forms and schools have rugby teams let alone offer rugby training so I am lucky to have the best of both worlds,” said the student at Birmingham Metropolitan College’s (BMet).
As flanker on the college’s rugby team, he works hard at tackling opponents and running hard lines with the ball. And on top of being able to live and breathe the sport, Harry takes pride in the fact he has never had an injury on the field.
“There are cuts and bruises sometimes but on the whole, rugby isn’t as dangerous as people might think,” explained the 16-year-old. “Once you understand the rules of the game and learn to fall and land ‘safely’ when you are tackled, you can take care of yourself. All your muscles can get sore after a game though!”
Harry’s main goal is to improve as a player, something which his college course enables him to do all the time.
“There are 35 of us in BMet’s Rugby Academy,” he continued. “We train together two days a week and have match days which we fit around our lessons.
“Our training involves a lot of drills and game-based scenarios. We split into forwards and backs and complete different manoeuvres. It’s a chance for us to improve our reaction times, practice tackles and how we respond to them.
“Our lessons are with students training in other sports such as football and golf. It’s good to mix with other teams and athletes. You get to hear about their competitions and sometimes joke with them about which is the better and tougher sport to play. Naturally our rugby team gives out the best banter!”
While many sportsmen and women discover their talent from the moment they can walk, Harry was never sporty as a child.
“An X Box was more my thing,” he admits. “I’d seen bits of rugby on TV but didn’t really understand everything that was happening. It was only when I was 13 and started playing it during a PE lesson that I suddenly found I enjoyed it. It was my first experience of the adrenalin rush you get from making contact with opponents.”
With his interest sparked, Harry joined Wednesbury Rugby Club in the West Midlands, going from the under 14s and under 15s teams to second row position for the under 17s team.
“Playing rugby outside of school and now in college has definitely made me want to take this forward as a career.” Harry said. “We’ve learned about coaching and refereeing in college, so these are roles I can take up in future, depending on how things work out for me as a player. Studying is still important so I have been looking at degree courses in sport at universities here in the UK. And there are study opportunities abroad I can apply for with the help of scholarships – something else we’ve looked at in class.”
He added: “Year two of my course will be a busy one for setting out these next steps.
“There are competitions to focus on too. The other players and I are looking forward to next season. We’ve got a good idea of what we’re up against from local teams and how we match them, so we’re confident about what we can achieve and of course, how we can all keep on getting better.”