St Mary’s Catholic High School in Astley has become the latest to sign up to the Centurions High School Partnership, which is run in conjunction with Leigh Community Trust.

St Mary’s will have its own designated Player Ambassadors, Sam Hopkins and Jake Emmitt, who will take three coaching sessions per year, and will be present at the school’s presentation evening. The school will also benefit from the Centurions Respect Assembly, which has been formulated to combat all kinds of bullying.

Leigh Centurions Player Ambassador and former St Mary’s pupil Sam Hopkins said:

“It was great to go back to my High School and meet some of the pupils and teachers (some of the same ones taught me!). I am both excited and privileged that St Mary’s Catholic High school have joined the Centurions High school partnership and that both myself and Jake (Emmitt) get to be School Ambassadors and pass on our knowledge of rugby and work with the pupils. I am looking forward to using my experiences to be a good role model for my old school”

The New Skills programme aims to increase the employability of 14-19 year old young residents within the Wigan Borough, specifically the Leigh area, by providing better access to opportunities for beneficiaries to improve their levels of qualifications and life skills through the engagement tool of sport and Leigh Centurions.

The Elite Warrior programme combines military and sports ethos to challenge the individuals to change.

An ex- serviceman has been recruited to deliver the course teaching them about self-sacrifice demands on a soldier, instilling discipline, respect and values into young people.

The second phase of the programme looks at how they move onto the next step of carrying out life choices by attending workshops and voluntary roles with their local community organisations including local schools, cadet centres, local small charities and the fire cadets. Participants have also gained a Sports Leaders award.