An ex-Coleg Llandrillo rugby star who excelled on the pitch is now about to start a Master's Degree in International Relations!
Jacob Collin, 22 from Broughton, joined the college's renowned rugby academy at the Rhos-on-Sea campus in 2015, carrying out his training alongside studying for his academic qualification: BTEC L3 Extended Diploma in Sport.
As well as representing the college's academy team, Jacob played for Mold RFC and RGC U-18s. A keen volunteer, Jacob offered his services as a disability sports coach at Ysgol y Gogarth special school, where he led regular physical education sessions with a group of 10 students.
After impressing on rugby pitches across North Wales, Jacob went on to achieve a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity at Durham University, before pursuing postgraduate study, in the form of a Master's Degree in International Relations.
Whilst at university, Jacob continued to be involved with community-inspired initiatives, becoming community engagement officer for Durham University Rugby Football Club. The role involved him preparing and implementing coaching sessions at local schools. In addition, he worked as part of a wider programme to provide sporting opportunities to children from low socio-economic backgrounds.
A charitable challenge saw Jacob, along with three university friends, raise over £2,000 for the OddBalls Foundation, a charity working to raise awareness of testicular cancer. They completed the Three Peaks Challenge in under 24 hours.
Jacob recently spoke about his time at college:
The most beneficial aspect of attending Llandrillo College was the ability to pursue a respectable academic qualification (BTEC L3 Extended Diploma in Sport), whilst being fully involved in a high-performance rugby union programme. This is testament, first and foremost, to the excellent academic staff at the college who work tirelessly to facilitate well-structured and enjoyable modules.
Secondly, the balance of individual and group work, alongside presentational and practical assessments, enabled me to improve several important skills. In particular, my self-confidence and public speaking skills developed as a direct result of the course.
The rugby academy was a vital part of my progression as a player. Strength and conditioning - combined with insightful coaching from both Andrew Williams and Afon Bagshaw - laid the foundations for me to go on and achieve success at university level. Significant emphasis is placed upon producing well-rounded characters at the college. The rugby academy certainly achieves this, with lots of opportunities to take up extra-curricular activities including coaching and refereeing within local communities. Most importantly for me, however, was that I made firm friendships during my time in the academy which I still value greatly today.
The college's rugby academy coordinator, Andrew Williams, said:
We are delighted with Jacob's remarkable progression. He was a fantastic student and rugby player and I am sure that he will succeed in whichever career path he chooses.
For more information about rugby, or any sports courses, or places in any of the college's sporting academies across Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, call the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.