Kimberley College and Bedford Blues Rugby Development Programme


Mr Tim Detheridge, Harry Lawler, Mr Jon Phillips, Xander Hughes, Sean Hardwidge, Mr Chris Czekaj, Mr Gareth Graham, Mr Gareth Alred

Kimberley Sixth Form College is launching a rugby development programme in partnership with Bedford Blues Rugby Club. This exciting new initiative starting in September will see coaching staff from Blues Community, alongside teaching staff at the College, deliver a bespoke training and coaching programme to students.


As part of this exciting initiative, Kimberley College will launch their first Sixth Form rugby team. The students will also act as young ambassadors, representing both Kimberley, which is part of Wootton Academy Trust, and Blues Community.


The programme will enable students who are passionate about rugby to build this into their studies at a top performing Sixth Form College, identified as the 11th best Sixth Form College in the Sunday Times list 2017. Students will not only benefit from the expertise of Blues Community, but also gain a greater understanding of how a successful organisation, such as Bedford Blues, operates as a business.


Kimberley College Principal, Mr Tim Detheridge, said: “We are immensely proud of this prestigious project. Not only will those students who are dedicated to rugby be able to build this into a ‘lifestyle’ curriculum, non-rugby enthusiasts will also gain a greater understanding of business, marketing and the sports science behind top level performance at such a successful organisation.”


Bedford Blues Chief Operating Officer, Gareth Alred, said: “We are very excited about this new community initiative which breaks new ground for us as a club and the community department. The project with Kimberley Sixth Form College provided an innovative way to work with the young people in our local community, developing life skills and community awareness through rugby, whilst promoting our brand.”


Mr Gareth Graham, Sports Teacher at Wootton Academy Trust, will lead on the programme in partnership with Blues’ Head of Community, Mr Jon Phillips. The pair are excited about the creation of a rugby team for Kimberley College and have entered the team into prestigious leagues and cup competitions next season.


Mr Graham, who has played and coached rugby throughout his career, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with successful rugby teams at Wootton (the Year 11 team are current county champions). With the addition of high quality players joining Kimberley from other schools on the development programme; I can see us going from strength to strength. The support of highly experienced coaches and players gives our students unrivalled access to elite coaching and mentoring. We are very fortunate to be involved in this wonderful opportunity.”


The new programme has attracted a great deal of interest from the local community and is available to both boys and girls. The number of applications for the rugby development programme at Kimberley has been high and interest continues to grow. Details of the programme are available on the Kimberley College website, applications for the second year of the programme will go live in the autumn.