Peter Weightman has his eyes on RU stardom
Last updated at 21:15, Thursday, 12 January 2012
Peter Weightman doesn’t have to look far for role models for inspiration to achieve his dream of becoming a top rugby player.
The 18-year-old, from Keswick, hopes to be the next star off a conveyor belt of top Cumbrian players that includes Steve Borthwick, Mark Cueto, Ian Hunter, David Pears, Steve Hanley and Rob Miller.
Weightman is so determined to win a contract at Newcastle Falcons this year that he quit Keswick School and moved away from home at the age of 16 to live a few miles away from Kingston Park.
He is developing his skills at the Aviva Premiership club’s junior academy, which means he juggles training with studying for A-levels at Gosforth High School and lodging with a local family.
The sacrifice and hard work is paying off as he is hopeful of winning a professional contract – and was invited for trials with the North of England squad.
Ironically, Weightman, who came through the ranks at Keswick Rugby Club, thought things couldn’t get any better when he played for Cumbria U15 at Carlisle.
He said: “I thought that was the peak because it seemed such a high level. I played on the wing for the first time against Northumberland and I’d heard Cumbria didn’t win many games because of a lack of funding and a small player-base.
“But everything went our way, we won 22-20 and I scored three tries. A few months alter after playing in a few more games for Cumbria, I got a phone call from Falcons asking me to play in a tournament. I used to think it would be fantastic to have a rugby career but never dreamed it would be possible.”
As well as playing for the North of England and representing England Divisions, Weightman continued attending training sessions at Falcons –- and then faced a tough decision in 2010 when they asked him to move to Newcastle.
He said: “I lodge with a family in Newcastle and attend Gosforth High School with other players at the Falcons junior academy.
“It was a hard decision to leave home at such a young age, and all the way along my parents have supported me, sacrificed their own time and paid for my because I get no funding from anywhere.”
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 12 January 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk