Teenage rugby star earns scholarship with Wigan Warriors
A teenage rugby star has the world at her feet after winning a scholarship with Super League giants Wigan Warriors.
Amelia Burton, 14, has immersed herself wholly in the sport ever since watching her older brother Sebastian play from a young age.
The St Augustine’s RC High School pupil would spend hours of her week on the sidelines, mesmerised by the game she would eventually develop a major passion for.
“I always wanted to play ever since watching my brother,” she said. “I used to watch him all the time, whether it was in training or playing games.
“He played for Blackburn, Clitheroe and Burnley and every club was like a big family. Everyone had smiles on their faces and everybody always seemed to be having fun. It was the camaraderie that appealed the most. I liked that togetherness.”
Amelia, from Padiham, who previously attended St Marys RC Primary School in Sabden, began her love affair with Burnley Rugby Club but received the good news during a training session with Blackbrook Rugby and Recreation Club.
And she’s made amendments to her playing schedule as a result. Having solely competed in union in the past, Amelia was keen to broaden her horizons in order to give herself the best possible chance of making an impact.
The winger, who now represents Liverpool St Helens, made the decision to join Ashton Bears in Wigan to help her get to grips with a different discipline.
Now training three times a week between the two clubs, and playing twice, she said: “I was training with Blackbrook Rugby and Recreation Club in October when I was told about the opportunity.
“I attended multiple training sessions with Wigan Warriors in December alongside players from loads of different clubs. The sessions were suspended due to Covid, but we continued to take part in some online sessions with the club. It felt like a really professional setup and I can’t wait to go back.”
Amelia added: “I want to learn new things in the sport and hopefully become part of a team with all the new people that I’ve met.
“I want to become a part of Wigan Warriors. They’re one of the most famous clubs around so it would be nice to be associated with a club like that.
“I really want to become a professional in the sport and I’m pretty confident that I can achieve that if I stay focussed.”
And with a foot in both camps - as St Helens and Wigan Warriors scrap it out alongside Catalans Dragons at the top of the Super League - who will she be siding with?
“I follow both sides,” she said.
“I don’t support an individual team, I just enjoy watching the sport.”