A Sixth Form Bolton A Level student is preparing to represent England in the elite world of Rugby Union.
Jack Lightbown, aged just 16, has been picked to train with the England national under-18 rugby union team, with aspirations of representing England in the Six Nations Championship this Easter. The aspiring Rugby professional is currently playing for the Sale Sharks under-18 Academy, and has been a member of their Development Player Programme since the tender age of 13.
The former Ladybridge High School pupil will be at training camp for four days with the rest of the ambitious squad at the prestigious Bishops Abbey National Sports Centre in Marlow, just outside of London.
Jack, who studies A Level Physical Education, Accounting and Economics at The Sixth Form spoke about his sporting highlights so far:
“It is such an honour to be chosen to train with the England under-18 squad, this is a dream come true for me. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the support from my family, my teachers, and all the expert coaching from my time with Westhoughton Lions, Eccles RFC and now Sale Sharks.”
Jack is part of the college’s Rugby Academy, an innovative development programme that runs alongside subject lessons. Students partake in weekly rugby sessions delivered by a team including Ryan Brierley, a professional rugby player for Salford Red Devils.
Speaking of the Rugby Academy, Jack said:
“What’s great for me is that the academy is tailored to individuals, it’s all about your own needs. I have learned lots of important skills including working with others, developing others in a professional training capacity and how to be resilient. How to be mentally as well as physically prepared for competing at such a high level is what I am truly thankful for the college for supporting me with.”
Craig Thomas, Jack’s Rugby Academy coach at B6, added:
“Jack is an exceptional student and a great example of how a talented young athlete can still prioritise their education as well as balance their elite pathway commitments. Jack is a pleasure to teach and we look forward to continuing to support him in his academic as well as professional sports success. We have no doubt Jack will have a career in the elite setting of sport with the positive mental attitude, dedication and resilience he has and is demonstrating here.”
Jack will continue with his A Level studies throughout his training, with the support and guidance from his teachers and sports coaches.
Sports Academies at B6 support students to turn their passion for sport and fitness into a career within a dynamic and rewarding sector. Find out more here.