The Sunshine College Rugby Academy will launch in 2024 as a subject for Year 9 and 10 male and female students, before expanding to Year 11 in 2025 and Year 12 in 2026.
In addition, the College will launch an afterschool pre-academy for Year 7 and 8 students.
Sunshine College’s Rugby Academy program is now Rugby Victoria and the Melbourne Rebels’ sixth government school academy, joining the likes of Melton Secondary College, Narre Warren South Secondary College, Fountain Gate Secondary College, The Grange College, and Hampton Park Secondary College.
Sunshine College Principal Tim Blunt revealed the program will provide career pathways for future leaders.
“Sunshine College values of Wellbeing, Relationships, Learning and GROWTH guide our decisions. We pride ourselves in helping and watching our students GROW”.
“The Rugby Academy sitting alongside and in partnership with what we already focus on, has the exciting potential to produce young people with great career pathways, to being future leaders, excellent sportspersons with a sound educational platform and most importantly good people.”
Assistant Principal Jodie Parsons explained that the program will support students on and off the field.
“Imagine a school where playing Rugby isn't just a game, but a classroom where you learn teamwork, courage, and never giving up”.
“Our Rugby Sports Academy supports students on and off the field. It will make them stronger, smarter, and ready for any challenge life throws their way”.
Central to the Academy's launch at Sunshine College is the role of Academy Movement Director, Jimmy Orange.
“The entire program will be overseen by newly appointed Director of Rugby Tumai Edwards, and experienced and expert teacher Alex Clarke,” said Orange.
“Sunshine College is the third of five Academy Movement Rugby Academies created in partnership with the Melbourne Rebels and Rugby Victoria for better student outcomes and engagement through the vehicle of rugby.
“We’re excited to see this program feed into the grassroots at local clubs Brimbank Bucks, Footscray Bulldogs and Power House Juniors.”
Rugby Victoria CEO Chris Evans was excited to see rugby's growing footprint within government schools.
"The partnership aligns with Rugby Victoria's strategic approach to grow the game within the Government school sector," explained Evans.
"In 2022, Rugby Victoria launched the Rebels Shield competition, a mid-week XV-a-side competition for Government Schools and we look forward to growing this competition and welcoming Sunshine College into the competition over the coming years."
Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson explained the importance of the Government School system in the Melbourne Rebels Pathway.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Academy Movement, and Rugby Victoria to support the delivery of the Rugby Academy at Sunshine College," said Stephenson.
“It is great to see the game growing within the Government School sector here in Melbourne and producing genuine pathways for young aspiring athletes”.
“Melbourne Rebels players Leafi Talataina and Lebron Naea are products of the Fountain Gate Secondary College program, and we look forward to supporting the next wave of players from our Academy Schools”.