Cas rugby boys to fund dream trip to Oz

Castleford Academy team heading for Australia.
Castleford Academy team heading for Australia.

A group of talented rugby players have raised thousands of pounds to fund the trip of a lifetime to Australia.

The eight boys were chosen for a six-week Rugby League visit to Queensland by their teachers at Castleford Academy.

Corey Johnson, Harry Addis, Harry Dodd, Ritchie Westwood, Harry Archdale, Jae Priest, Kieran Purdy and Harry Wright will fly out to Mackay State High School next month after finishing their summer exams.

On Saturday, a fundraising car wash at the academy on Ferrybridge Road was the latest event to help fund their living costs while out there.

Tara Johnson, mum of Corey, 16, who has just finished a two-year scholarship with Leeds Rhinos, said: “The boys raised £485.50. It was fantastic and they all worked their socks off.

“We are all really proud of them.

“It’s the chance of a lifetime for them.”

“They are really excited to be going and just want to get their GCSEs out of the way first.

“They will get to see how people in Australia live and the culture out there.

“Australia is a big Rugby League place and so is Castleford.”

The pupils were selected to go to Australia after writing application letters saying why they should be chosen after the whole of their year group was invited to apply.

They were set a six-month challenge to raise enough funds to go at the end of January.

In Australia the lads will attend Mackay school, which is partnered with Castleford Academy, and play for different Rugby League clubs.

Miss Johnson said: “It’s just a fantastic opportunity for them.”

A bucket collection in Castleford town centre on Saturday and a sportsman’s dinner are among forthcoming fundraising events to help pay for their flights, accommodation and living costs down under. Miss Johnson thanked headteacher George Panayiotou and staff at the academy for their help with the car wash.

She said: “They were fantastic. A lot of the teachers came down to have their cars washed and they let us wash three of the school vans.”