Donncha O’Callaghan and Luke Baldwin have become the first two Worcester Warriors players to graduate as part of a dual-career planning strategy which players undertake at the Club.
Warriors captain O’Callaghan, now 38, graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Sport Management at the University of Worcester while scrum-half Baldwin, 27, picked up a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature from the Open University.
The pathway is designed for players to prepare themselves for life after rugby.
On Wednesday 27 September, the Club had a short graduation ceremony in which O’Callaghan’s and Baldwin’s achievements were recognised by players and staff.
Honorary Education Officer Lynette Cutting said: “It’s vital that rugby players prepare themselves for life after the game whenever that might be.
“We are committed to helping each individual try and balance their life in professional rugby alongside another potential career path and it’s fair to say we have one of the most educated professional rugby teams in the country.
“I’d like to thank the University of Worcester in particular as one of our key partners who have worked around the challenges of the training schedule.”
Out of the 53 players in the first-team squad during the 2016/17 season, Warriors had 38 players as well as the 15 Senior Academy players studying in areas such as:
• Construction/plumbing/electrician/quantity surveying courses
• Business/international relations/sport management courses
• Sports studies/science/coaching courses
• Higher degrees in international business/development management/building surveying
Some players have also undertaken work experiences during their time off.
O’Callaghan said: “I started this degree in 2003 and I’ve only just finished it now. I don’t think it’d have been possible if it wasn’t for Lynette or the incredible programme that has been put in place by the Club.
“There were some tough days but Lynette man-marked me to make sure I completed it. She deserves a massive amount of credit that she puts in selflessly for all the lads and I’m very thankful.”
Baldwin added: “In the modern era of professional sport it’s essential to have a contingency plan should your career be cut short or to ensure that when you finish, the transition into life after rugby is smooth.
“These are the necessary steps for me personally to take in order to ensure I have a successful career post-rugby and I’d like to thank Lynette for helping me achieve this degree.”