An aspiring young rugby player from South Shields has been selected for England’s National Talent Development Group as she takes one step closer to achieving her dream of playing for her country.
April Ishida, 16, started playing rugby when she was 11 and is now part of Gateshead College’s Women’s Rugby Academy where she is also studying a BTEC in Sport.
Through the Academy, April trains at the college three times a week, where she has access to world class facilities including an elite level strength and conditioning gym. At the same time, she can continue her studies and combine the demands of her course with developing her rugby skills.
Talking about her selection, April said: “I feel so pleased and proud to be chosen; it really means so much to me.
“It will be an amazing experience to train and play as part of the England National Talent Development Group and hopefully move up the pathway to play more and more games for my country which is now my biggest goal.
“I’m thankful to everyone at Gateshead College, especially my rugby coach Andy. When looking at sixth forms and other colleges in my last year of school, no one else could offer what Gateshead College is able to; I can play the sport I love, whilst working towards a qualification.”
Andy Reynolds, head rugby coach at Gateshead College, said: “A massive well done to April who thoroughly deserves this opportunity.
“She’s a passionate and highly motivated young lady who puts in a lot of work both in the classroom and on the playing field.
“It’s fantastic that she’s been selected for such a prestigious rugby talent programme and I am looking forward to seeing how she progresses.”
For more information about the BTEC course April is studying and the Women’s Rugby Academy, please visit: www.gatesheadcollege.ac.uk