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Getting to know: York St John University




Last season was York St John University’s first as the Knights principal partner, but they have been involved with the club since before their Chief Operating Officer Rob Hickey joined in 2016.

“We decided to support and sponsor the Knights because the ethos and values of rugby league, and of the club, match those of the University,” he explained. “We have been able to increase our local, regional and national exposure through supporting the Knights.”

Rob outlined on how the partnership between the organisation and the club is about more than simply having their logo on the playing jerseys. “We work together on a range of initiatives, from research into sports science, to preparing for the Rugby League World Cup in 2021, to working with the club to promote rugby league among our students, particularly through the academy team.

“Sponsoring the club’s shirts, advertising at the stadium and leveraging the Knights’ website and social media presence is focussed on building the University’s profile both in Yorkshire and nationally,” Rob explained, outlining that the partnership helps to attract students from across traditional rugby league heartlands. “More importantly, the sponsorship is linked to a wider relationship that extends to coaching, community engagement, shared facilities and other activities.”

Indeed, the Knights’ training setup at the York St John University Sports Park is a training facility to rival the very best in rugby league and, with the imminent opening of the LNER Community Stadium, Rob believes that the move will further establish both the Knights and York as a city as the place to be. “It will feel like a Super League ground and will be great for the Club, the city and the University,” he noted. “As a fan, replicating the pre and post match experience will be important but I have seen the facilities and they are fantastic.” While University life has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, York St John University is preparing to welcome a new cohort of students this Autumn, something Rob is looking forward to. “It’s not too late to apply,” he says. In addition to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate University degrees, York St John also offers several new and innovative Degree Apprenticeships, giving businesses the opportunity to support employees to further their skills.

“We run excellent short courses and degree apprenticeship programmes in a range of areas like business, lab science, data science and project management. Staff can work towards a degree using the national apprenticeship levy already funded by their employers” he detailed, advising those interested to visit the University’s website.

As the nation emerges from lockdown and people begin to look towards the future, we at the Knights believe there really is nowhere better for an individual to continue their life-long learning than at York St John University – something Rob agrees with. “If you or a friend or family member are looking to study for a degree, or advance or change your career, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.”

You can find York St John University’s website HERE or you can visit their social media pages below.

And you can find information on YSJ Rugby League team HERE



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