£26k target for Australia tour

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.'Story: Castleford Academy Year 9 rugby squad are preparing to embark on a series of fundraising activities, to raise money to fund a trip to Australia during 2016.'Photo date: 20/10/15'Picture Ref: AB327a1015

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.'Story: Castleford Academy Year 9 rugby squad are preparing to embark on a series of fundraising activities, to raise money to fund a trip to Australia during 2016.'Photo date: 20/10/15'Picture Ref: AB327a1015

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Rugby-mad youngsters at Castleford Academy are calling on businesses and people across the area to help them make their dream trip to Australia.

The school’s year-nine boys’ team need to raise £26,000 to take a tour of the country next summer.

The youngsters, together with teachers and parents, have organised a series of fundraising events to help draw in cash for the trip.

Lee Holmes, head of physical education at the school, said: “Every year we send a handful of year-11 students out to our partnership school Mackay for about two-weeks on an exchange trip.

“But every three years we organise a full-team tour where they go out and play games in Australia.”

The team were crowned national champions at Wembley in 2014 when they took to the hallowed turf before Castleford Tigers’ Challenge Cup final against Leeds Rhinos in 2014.

They’re now hoping to raise the money to play three games as part of the tour in July.

As part of the trip they will visit Mackay, North Queensland and Sydney.

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.”

As part of their efforts to raise the money the youngsters and their parents have arranged their first event.

They will hold a winter fair with craft stalls, a raffle and entertainment at Roundhill Working Men’s Club, Roundhill Road, on Thursday, November 19 from 5pm until 10pm.

Mr Holmes said: “It would be great to see people come down and support the lads.

“They’re a great bunch and it would be fantastic to take them on the tour.”

For more information or if you can help with the team’s fundraising campaign call Ryan Lloyd, PE teacher and trip co-ordinator, on 01977 605060 or email him at rlloyd@castlefordacademy.com