The NRL has welcomed the Homebush-based Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) as the fifth education institution to join Rugby Leagues innovative 'Graduates of League' program.


Pirtek Parramatta Eels club captain Tim Mannah is among 14 NRL and Holden Cup players who are currently attending ACPE, which joins University of Western Sydney, James Cook University (Townsville), Griffith University (Brisbane and Gold Coast) and University of Wollongong in the Graduate of Leagues program.


NRL Senior NRL Senior Welfare and Education Manager, Mr Paul Heptonstall, said the program aims to increase retention and completion rates of elite athletes who are studying at these institutions as they prepare for careers post-football.


The NRLs injection of funds for peer tutoring will only strengthen the colleges ability to provide the best possible support for our players, he said.


ACPE has always been an education institution that has catered for elite athletes, making their studies as flexible as possible for them to achieve both their goals.


ACPE Student Services Manager and Elite Athlete Contact Ms Kellie Maxwell said the organisation was delighted with the opportunity to be involved in the Graduates of League program which is a great fit for us.


Students at ACPE who are identified as scholars in the College have been assigned to NRL players to deliver one-on-one tuition for at least one hour per week, which is funded by the NRL, the players NRL Club and the RLPA, she said.


Having caught up with many of the players at ACPE it is evident that their confidence has grown with their studies.


The following players are actively engaged with the program at ACPE:


Tim Mannah (Eels)

Brady Cheshire (Panthers)

Kieren Moss (Panthers)

Michael Ross (Panthers)

Jaiden Hawkes (Rabbitohs)

Braeden Batiste (Roosters)

Daniel Mortimer (Roosters)

Matt Ballin (Sea Eagles)

James Cunningham (Sea Eagles)

Clinton Gutherson (Sea Eagles)

Dean McGlinchey (Sea Eagles)

Alan Niulesa (Sharks)