Frederick Gent School become Derbyshire’s first England Rugby League Player Development School

Frederick Gent School in South Normanton have become the county’s first England Rugby League Player Development school after the delivery of Touch Rugby League sessions across five weeks by members of the North Derbyshire Chargers RLFC supported by professional players from the Heartbeat of Sport charity.  

Having achieved the status of England Rugby League Player Development Club, the North Derbyshire Chargers were keen to use the skills and techniques learned on their year long training on the RFL’s Embed The Pathway programme to work alongside schools in their catchment area to provide consistent coaching techniques across schools and partner community clubs, while still retaining the fun element of the sport.

 Ged Connolly-Thompson, North Derbyshire Chargers Chairman and England Rugby League Player Development Coach, said: 

“We were delighted to be invited by Frederick Gent School and Bolsover District Council to deliver a number of skills and games based sessions at the school, putting the skills learned on the Embed The Pathway courses into practice with students ranging from regular Rugby League players through to those with no previous experience of the sport.  The club has an active community and school development programme working across Primary, Secondary and Special Schools and we look forward to developing more Player Development Schools in the coming weeks and months.”

The sessions at Frederick Gent School were funded through Sport England Club Links Makers programme via Bolsover District Council Sports Development with the aim of establishing satellite clubs and sustainable school links.  

 Tony Fretwell, National Player Development Manager at the Rugby Football League, said:

“The Performance Department of England Rugby League are delighted to welcome Frederick Gent School as our first Player Development School in Derbyshire.  Embed the Pathway is a program specifically designed to develop players aged between 11 and 14 and this will provide the curriculum for the young people to receive high quality delivery of Rugby League. 

It is the belief of England RL that any player receiving this program is potentially an England player of the future and the staff at Frederick Gent are to be congratulated on their commitment.  The exit route for these young people are professional club development days and the Midlands Schools competition frameworks.”

For more information contact the Midlands Education Officer Kane Krlic

 The North Derbyshire Chargers is a community Rugby League club based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, with a satellite site in Warsop Vale, North Nottinghamshire.  They provide opportunities to train and play Rugby League to anyone over the age of 6, focussing upon the development of Primary, Junior and Youth players.  For more information on the Chargers, please email

Help us to shape our future strategy

As part of the club’s development planning for the next three years we have launched an online survey looking at the provision of Rugby League and other sporting activities within Secondary Schools with a focus upon girls between the ages of 11 and 18.

The club already has an active Primary and Secondary School engagement programme, but we need to know more about the barriers which prevent girls taking part in some of our activities.

If you are within the target age group we would therefore appreciate it if you could complete the survey at

Results are anonymous and will be used to help us introduce new products and services into the club next season.

Chargers become an England Rugby League Player Development Club

We are delighted to announce that the club has been awarded the status of England Rugby League Player Development Club by the RFL’s Embed The Pathway team.

This follows the successful completion of the Embed The Pathway course by coaches Ged Connolly-Thompson and Ashley Rennison and a commitment by the club to continue to develop their Junior squads according to the following requirements:

  • Embed the Pathway is the framework of delivery to your young players.
  • Profiling is encouraged using the profiling wheel.
  • You will work to ensure all coaches working with your young players at U12 – U14s attend CPD for Embed the Pathway if they have not already done so.
  • You will engage in support visits from your local Player Development Partner.
  • You will encourage parents of your young players to attend RFL/Partner run parents workshops.

Community Rugby League Club