Super League stars secure their futures at Warrington & Vale Royal College

Warrington & Vale Royal College’s HNC in Sport & Exercise Science is helping professional rugby players from across the north west to both enhance their playing careers and secure their futures.

The Sport & Exercise Science HNC and HND courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding underpinning a range of sport science disciplines. This includes training and fitness, sports physiology and injury, psychology and sports performance. The course also develops students’ research, personal and professional skills.

St Helens RFC players Jake Spedding and Ben Morris are enrolled on the HNC, while Widnes Vikings co-captain Joe Mellor, is enrolled on the HND at the college’s Warrington Campus.

Joe said: “The course is fantastic – I have definitely learned a lot about the psychology of rugby and sport in general, that I am able to take away and apply to my playing career. What I am learning will also play a massive part in my future and will help me to continue working in sport once my playing days are over.

“This is a two-year course but after that, I want to go off to university. I still don’t know completely what I want to do but I know that the course will help me with whatever I decide.”

Jake, who has played for St Helens since he was 15, added: “I am really enjoying the course so far. I can relate a lot of the things I am learning, back to what we are doing in our training sessions at Saints.”

Joe, Jake and Ben are just three professional rugby league players to enrol on the course in recent years, with previous students including former Wolves player and New Zealand captain Roy Asotasi.

Craig Atherton, lecturer in sport, said: “The sport & exercise science course is an exciting programme for both those already working within the industry and those looking to enter it. For players like Joe, Ben and Jake, the course will prove invaluable both during the rest of their playing career and after it too.

“We’re really proud of our sporting links at the college and the fact that we have professional athletes completing the course proves that we have both the industry experience and knowledge to help them succeed.”

To find out more about the opportunities available at Warrington & Vale Royal College, visit or come to our open evening on Monday 12th February, 5-7pm.