Atlanta St John, Head of Women's Rugby Programme
Following on from QUINSSA’s support over the last few seasons, this year sees bursaries awarded to Ella Amory, Izzy Mayhew, Sam McCarthy, Lucy Packer, Emily Robinson and Charlie Wellbelove.
All six of the players are currently balancing higher education studies alongside playing for Harlequins Women in the Allianz Premier 15s. Ella Amory (Belgium), Lucy Packer (Wales 7s & England) and Emily Robinson (England U20s) have all earned international honours with their countries
All six players have been with the Club for a number of seasons and each player has represented Harlequins Women in the Allianz Premier 15s fixtures either this season or in past years.
Head of Harlequins Women’s Rugby Programme Atlanta St John said: “As this year’s cohort of recipients demonstrate, is that what our players are achieving outside of rugby is impressive and something the Club is incredibly proud of. The players’ dedication and commitment to their education alongside the ever growing demands and competitiveness of the Allianz Premier 15s shows the breadth and depth of players we have in our Women’s squad. The support that QUINSSA is providing is invaluable and we cannot thank them enough for their ongoing backing of the Women’s team”.
Ella Amory – University of Surrey – Business Management
Izzy Mayhew – St Mary’s University- Sports Rehabilitation
Sam McCarthy - University of Liverpool - Veterinary Physiotherapy (postgraduate)
Lucy Packer – University of Surrey –Biomedical Science
Emily Robinson – Guildford College - Level 3 NVQ Apprentice - Site Carpentry
Charlie Wellbelove – University of Surrey – Sports Science
Harlequins Ladies winger Ellie Miles on the benefits of being awarded an academic bursary by QUINSSA
Ahead of the 2018/19 season, Harlequins Ladies players Ellie Miles, Izzy Mayhew, Bobbie Haywood, and Charlie Wellbelove were awarded a financial bursary from the Harlequins Supporter’s Association to help support their studies alongside their training programme with the Club.
The four players received this funding due to their decision to base their university studies close to the team’s training facility at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, as well as their recognised potential on the field.
Speaking on the positive impact that the bursary has had on her studies and her rugby, winger Ellie Miles said: “I am so grateful to have had such incredible support from QUINSSA this season.
I am currently in the first year of my Sport and Exercise Science degree at the University of Surrey, and I am also recovering from an injury that I sustained at the back end of last season.
The bursary has not only had a marked effect on my ability to continue my training and rehabilitation at Harlequins, but it has also had a hugely positive impact mentally. It’s another in a long list of ways in which the wider Club is invested in our development as players and as individuals”.
Scott Cooke said: “QUINSSA has supported the Men’s academy for over 10 years and has donated more than £50,000 to the Club in the form of proceeds of raffles, events and merchandise
The organisation have been looking at ways to disburse more of its funds and supporting the Ladies team seemed a logical extension.
This has been widely supported by our members, and we look forward to fielding similar contributions to support the Club’s youth structures in the future.”
Miles, along with summer signing Charlotte Wellbelove, attend the University of Surrey while Scrum Half Bobbie Haywood, who has appeared regularly for the Development XV this season, is studying at the University of Portsmouth. Isobel Mayhew, who’s played numerous times for the 1st XV, is completing her first year at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
As you are aware we donate money to the Academy each year, mainly from the raffles that you generously support. Below are details of the use of the money donated last year, together with a video from Lennox who has benefitted from this money. Our next raffle will be at the annual dinner on 6th July, please support as you can see the amazing difference it makes.
As previously we have helped reduce some of the barriers to participation to some of our most talented boys getting to training / matches. Otherwise they would struggle to attend and continue their development. There are four main boys who we have helped this year. One is U17 and has played in our U18 Academy League side this season, Lennox Anyanwu. 2 are from our U16s (Ade Coker and Andrew Fadera) and one is from our U15s (Cassius Cleaves). Cassius has also had some significant support from the Seb Adeniran-Olule Fund which has seen him move schools to now attend Wellington College. Lennox (the U17 who will play for England U17’s this year and all being well will join the full time academy in due course) has recorded a message on video thanking Quinssa for their help and support.
As an addition to the Psychological support we already offer the boys we have this year added some Psychological profiling (Cost of £60 a profile) for the new intake (likely to be 7 players) into the Full Time Academy and also the existing group. It will allow us a better insight into the learning preferences and behaviours of our best young players coming through so we can shape how best to drive their development.
We have bought 8 new portable floodlights to help facilitate both DPP sessions and the Women’s teams evening training sessions. There are some challenges around lighting at SSP with the local residents which are not easily solved and the new equipment has allowed us to improve the facilities we provide for both groups.
Quinssa’s support it is extremely appreciated. We have some very talented boys coming through the system at present who hopefully will be the mainstay of our 1stXV over the next decade and some of them will really benefit from Quinssa support.
The Elite Player Development Group (EDPG) includes players selected by Harlequins on the basis of their performances, to become members of the regional academy in due course. Typically these players will have played divisional or international rugby at under-16 level and will have demonstrated commitment beyond the average to become professional players.
Quinssa were approached by the Quins Academy staff at the start of the current season and asked if we could help with the travel costs of three young players (Nathan Thomas, Tom Palmer and Gabriel Ibitoye) who had been identified with considerable potential and who had an exceptional drive and commitment to be successful. The need to travel frequently to Surrey Sports Park in Guildford was putting a strain on their families’ finances. It was thought that instead of giving the Academy all the proceeds of our fund raising at the end of the season, as we had in the past, we could contribute during the season and help these committed youngsters get to the training ground on a regular basis.
The Committee felt it was the right activity to fund, in line with Quinssa's longstanding support of the Quins Academy.
We decided to use some of the Quinssa Academy fundraising money towards sending Sam Stuart down to play in New Zealand.
As well as being a fantastic experience for Sam the opportunity to play a club season in a demanding environment is just what Sam needs. Having missed so much of the last two seasons it gives him a great opportunity to get back up to form so that he hits the ground running for Quins next season. Sam is based at Nick Evans old club in North Harbour, East Coast Bays.
After consulting with Collin Osborne and Tony Diprose we decided to spread the funds over a wider group. We hosted the Action Against Hunger U17 tournament at the Stoop last summer and this year the second edition is being held in Toulouse. Quins have been invited and intend to send a team and Quinssa will be sponsoring that group using the Academy Fund.
We provided support over three years to send young Academy players to the Natal Sharks Academy in South Africa for three weeks. The players that were given this opportunity were George Robson, Tom Sargeant, Seb Stegmann, Chris York and Sam Smith.
As well as the merchandise sales and raffles we also ran a 100 Club until the Club set one up and we decided to close ours to avoid competition and confusion.
The first form of our support for the Academy was in providing bursaries to individual Academy players in order to help them with their travelling expenses for training sessions.
The six players who received these bursaries were: