Education Partnership


Includes the University of East Anglia, Easton College’s Rugby Academy, and 3,000 students from 12 Secondary Schools and 17 Primaries...

North Walsham RFC has developed strong links locally with all tiers of education – Higher, Further, Secondary and Primary.

Further Education Links:

Niall Lear, our Director of Rugby, is also Head Coach at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Rugby-Men and Rugby-Woman, supported by 2 other Coaches from the Club who work with the Ladies team and Mens 2nd XV.

This Partnership has provided a pathway for students into our adult teams, with nine of the 2022 – 23 squad either studying at the UEA or graduating from there in 2022.

The Partnership also enables our female players to play for the UEA once they reach 18 and so are too old for the Valkyries (our Girls Team). The Club offers bursaries to its players studying at the UEA.

Niall similarly leads the training programme for Easton College’s Rugby Academy. Easton, is a major Further Education provider with Sports and Performance courses amongst its specialisms. The Academy’s team – for which students at City College Norwich and Paston College are also eligible – plays in regional and national Association of Colleges competitions. Players from most of Norfolk’s rugby clubs are involved and two of our 2022-23 squad have attended the Academy.

Our Schools Programme:

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This has grown significantly in the past six years. During 2021 – 22 well over 3,000 students from 12 Secondary Schools and 17 Primaries were involved. The Programme gives us the chance to promote rugby to Students, Staff and Parents and show them what the Club can offer, whilst also giving our Coaches the opportunity to use and develop their skills.

Central to our links with Schools is a unique Partnership with the Wensum Trust, a not-for-profit education trust with 11 free to attend Schools in Norfolk: Acle Academy, Alderman Peel High School, Hellesdon High and eight Primaries.

The Trust funds our Coaches to go into all their Schools working from Reception through to Year 11, and their students join Vikings and Associate Schools (see below) at events at our Scottow Park ground. Our Partnership goes beyond playing rugby…

Rugby’s core values are those the Trust wants for all its children, and it recognises too that the sport helps them develop key skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership and resilience. We delivered the equivalent of around 77 days of coaching to the Wensum Trust in 2021 -22.

Those High Schools based in our local communities from where we draw most of our supporters, sponsors and players are invited to become Vikings Schools. The Club funds the bulk of our work with the Vikings Schools, although we also seek sponsorship (Great Witchingham Cricket Club are part sponsors for 2022 – 23) and grants, and the Schools themselves pay a nominal annual fee.

Most of the funding the Club allocates to the Schools Programme is spent on the Vikings Schools, with a little expended on local Primaries. We expect to spend the equivalent of around 70 coaching days with the Vikings Schools in 2022 – 23.
Our Vikings Schools are:

Our offer to the Viking’s Schools is focused on Years 7 – 9 and structured as follows:

  • Rugby Days at Scottow Park – Boys & Girls Days for Years 7/8/9. We run the Girl’s Days once and the Boys twice (i.e., 9 events). Coaching in the morning, matches in the afternoons.
  • Year 7 Taster Sessions in Schools prior to the Year 7 Days.
  • Circa 15 hours bespoke for each School: lesson support, After School Clubs, one off events.
  • Year based Tournaments (including Years 10 & 11) at Scottow Park: 1300 to 1500.
  • Training for Teachers.

We also have Representative Matches – Vikings Schools v Wensum Trust matches for all year groups and both sexes at a celebratory event towards the end of the Spring Term.

Schools from further afield are welcome at the above on a fee paying basis. Three High Schools participated in 2021 – 22 as what we call Associate Schools.

We also offer free introductory in School sessions to around 20 Primaries that are located close to us, and the opportunity for them to come to year based Festivals at

Scottow Park. Some of those Primaries, and some from further afield, also buy time from us including the running of After School Clubs.

For more information about our links with education, contact Niall Lear or Paul Morse



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At North Walsham Rugby Club, our 1st XV (Vikings) are playing at National 2 level. Mini and Youth Rugby caters for Under 6s to U18s. Three Senior Men’s teams. Senior Women’s in affiliation with UEA ladies rugby. Four Girls teams Under12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.


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