Wales rugby player Ben donates his shirt to Cardiff and Vale College Rugby Academy
Ben Thomas, an A Level student at Cardiff and Vale College who has played seven times for the Welsh Under 16s and Under 18s rugby teams, has donated his shirt to the College’s Rugby Academy to inspire other players.
The 17-year-old from Cardiff has represented Wales four times for the Under 16s team in 2015, and this year he played for Wales three times in the Under 18s team. He donated his number 12 shirt to CAVC Director of Rugby Martyn Fowler.
“We’re extremely honoured for Ben to present his shirt to the College,” Martyn said. “Ben has set the benchmark for the rest of the boys and when they see this shirt every time they walk past it will be an inspiration for them to make the best of their game.”
Ben will play his first full season for the Under 18s Welsh rugby team next year, having qualified a year early.
“It’s a very proud feeling to play for Wales,” Ben said. “It’s a bit nerve-wracking but it’s nice to be part of the team.”
Ben is part of the College’s Rugby Academy team. The Academy is designed to provide a perfect platform for students who have an interest in performance and elite level rugby.
The Academy places a strong emphasis on balancing sporting performance with educational achievement. CAVC is proud to work in partnership with the Cardiff Blues and members of the Academy benefit from training and playing home games at the historic BT Cardiff Arms Park. They can also access a specialised strength and conditioning gym at the College’s City Centre Campus.
“I would like to on go to become a professional rugby player,” Ben said. “The Cardiff and Vale College rugby Academy has really helped me with that – having all the facilities in the campus makes it really easy to develop physically and the support is great.”
Ben also features in the College’s #morethanjustacampus campaign. Students are at the heart of the campaign, which highlights the College’s state-of-the-art facilities and employability focused approach to learning.
Ben explained why CAVC is #morethanjustaclassroom to him. “For me, CAVC is #morethanjustaclassroom because it provides an opportunity to combine high level rugby with my education,” he said. “The CAVC Rugby Academy is an environment where we can better ourselves as rugby players and compete with the best colleges around.
“Having the gym on campus makes it very easy and practical for us to physically develop in the way that we need to do. From a young age it’s a dream for all rugby players to play in the Cardiff Arms Park and for us to have this opportunity is amazing.”