News | 8 February 2024
The Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff Metropolitan University have joined forces to develop a new foundation qualification that will give students routes into careers in sport and steps into higher education sports degree programmes.
The Foundation Certificate in Sport Management & Development, delivered in partnership with ALS Training, will allow students to progress onto a range of courses within Cardiff Met’s School of Sport and Health Sciences.
Daniel Heggs, Associate Dean for Partnerships at Cardiff Met, said: “The introduction of the foundation certification opens the doors for individuals who want to pursue a career in sport but who may not have otherwise thought about university opportunities. It means that talented people who wouldn’t have considered applying to university can access Cardiff Met’s highly regarded sports degrees, removing the barrier to higher education.”
The foundation certificate has been designed by Cardiff Met to meet the needs of the Welsh Rugby Union to incorporate work-based learning, with placements within schools and colleges integrated into the course.
Geraint John, WRU Community Director, said: “Cardiff Met’s Foundation Certificate, has been developed to align with the Welsh Rugby Union’s apprenticeship demands, and it pairs classroom insights with real-world application.
“A bridge between theory and practice, this certificate isn’t just a qualification; it’s a journey through work-based learning. Strategic placements in schools, colleges and live event experiences are seamlessly woven into the curriculum so the new foundation certificate doesn’t just meet standards, it sets a new benchmark for holistic education, preparing individuals for success, through exciting and diverse real experiences within Welsh rugby.”
Liam Brooks, 19, who has joined the first cohort of students on the newly established foundation degree said: “I’ve loved rugby from the age of six and always wanted to be involved in it, either as a player or a career.
“It felt like a no brainer to apply for this course because it’s a chance to pursue a career in a sport I’m so enthusiastic about and be trained by the people at the top of the rugby profession in Wales. It’s been brilliant so far and offered a lot of new experiences as a sport coach already.”
15 students are accepted onto the WRU Apprenticeship programme each year. Over a 12-month period, students shadow a highly skilled team delivering events within local communities and schools, from skills sessions to coaching and officiating. Students also play a part in delivering rugby internationals held at Principality Stadium including the Guinness Six Nations, Cardiff Arms Park and CSM in North Wales and the students are responsible for delivering one of the milestone events in the community rugby calendar, Road to Principality where they gain invaluable experience in all aspects of large scale events from sport broadcasting, livestreaming, digital and social media, ticketing, marketing and communications, fan experience and team management.
Sarah John, Director at ALS, adds: “We’re delighted to collaborate on this qualification which is part of the Higher Apprenticeship in Sports Development.
“The ambition is to support continuous development for young people recruited into sport and to upskill those already working in the sector who may not have experienced higher level accredited learning. The course allows learners an alternative route through to degree level.
“This innovative approach has brought together Industry, Higher Education and Work Based Learning – a collaboration that opens the door for future opportunities.”
The next round of application for the WRU’s Apprenticeship program and eligibility for a Foundation Certificate in Sport Management and Development will begin June 2024 and students interested in applying can make an ‘Expression of Interest’ at