Castleford students heading down under
Castleford Academy students are packing their bags for a dream trip to Australia, with the help of local businesses. The Year 9 boys rugby league team, together with teachers and parents, have organised a series of fundraising events to help draw in over £25,000 for the trip.
Lee Holmes, Assistant Headteacher at the school, said: "Every year we send a handful of Year 11 students out to our partnership school Mackay for about six weeks on an exchange trip.
"But every three years we try to organise a full-team tour where they go out and play games in Australia."
The team were crowned national champions at Wembley in 2017 when they took to the hallowed turf before the Hull FC Challenge Cup final against Wigan Warriors in 2017.
They've now raised the money to help fund the trip where they will play three games as part of the tour in July against Australian schools in Brisbane and Mackay. As well as playing rugby league, students will also get the opportunity to take in the sights of North Queensland and Sydney, with students climbing the Sydney harbor bridge on the final day of the tour.
Mr Holmes said: "The trip will cost roughly £56,000 in total and part of that is paid for by the parents - the other part they have got to raise.
"The lads are really looking forward to it and just want it to happen so much.
"It is a fantastic opportunity and is the trip of a lifetime. I think it will give them a real sense of aspiration".
"We've had youngsters in the past who have been on the trip and then gone back to Australia to play rugby."
The trip departs on 25th July and also includes enrichment activities such as visiting Daydream Island, going to watch the Gold Coast titans V's Brisbane Broncos at the CBUS stadium as well as visiting Surfers Paradise. The trip in total lasts 18 days and returns to school on 11th August.