AASE programme (male 16-18)
Photo: Leo Wilkinson Photography
The Achieving Academic and Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme is designed for high performance male rugby players, aged between 16 and 18, who have the potential to achieve excellence in rugby whilst pursuing an education at the same time.
The programme has been running in 11 England Rugby Academies, hosted predominantly by the Aviva Premiership clubs since 2006 but under a different name (the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) and regulations.
The clubs running the RFU AASE programme have established partnerships with local education providers. The chosen school or college work with the Academy staff to deliver the NVQ Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance and the BTEC Understanding Excellence in Sports Performance and run a team in the highly competitive AASE League.
The course takes two years to complete, with the AASE programme providing a structured national training and development route.
The course looks at the technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of rugby. It is designed to produce self-autonomous athletes who can think for themselves by asking them to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses, produce corrective programmes and then review whether their programmes are successful or not.
It also addresses wider issues of being a professional player, should they get a club contract at 18. These include such topics as lifestyle, communication, career management, dealing with the media and health and safety.
The AASE programme is designed to give young rugby players the best chance of developing and maintaining a career as a professional rugby player.