Kallum Watkins to show next generation what sports stars go through in Academy


KALLUM Watkins may give the impression life is good being an elite sportsman but he wants to show what it is really like.

An England international, Rugby League World Cup finalist, Super League champion and Challenge Cup winner, the centre’s trophy cabinet is testament to his quality.

Kallum Watkins will detail the real life of a sports star with the launch of the KW3 AcademySWPIX.COM

Away from the pitch, though, he is just like anyone else – he has issues to deal with, there is loads of hard work that goes into the 80 minutes most of us see every week.

Which is why he wants to help the next generation – in any sport – understand what it takes and what those at the top have to deal with by launching his KW3 Academy.

Salford ace Watkins said: “I don’t think we see enough of that from sports people, especially in this country.

“It’s a whole sport thing, not just rugby league. With our players, I don’t think they’re celebrated enough but I don’t think they’re exposed to be public enough.

“Life isn’t great all the time. I’ve had plenty of ups and downs in my career but also in my personal life that can impact on my career. It can explain how things at home can affect people on the pitch.

“I’ve got three boys and now a stepdaughter. It’ll show what happens on a gameday, what happens the day before, what happens on the day of a game when I’ve got the kids.

“People can see the rugby league player doing the school run the morning after a game, even on the morning of one.

“I’ve been asked about how the family side works and people don’t know I live an hour away in Yorkshire. I’m up at 5am every day and I have to look after my body and as I’m getting on, doing the extra things is what’s keeping me going really.

“For me, it’s about giving people an insight and helping mentor young kids. I’ve been quite private about a few things but I feel people can benefit from learning from what I’ve done and been able to achieve, through ups and downs.

“I’m quite passionate about that as it’ll help develop their brand, which will open doors for Super League and its clubs.

Watkins hopes his venture can open the door for more players, in all sports.SWPIX.COM

“And I’ve had a few teenagers asking for a bit of advice, even giving me advice over what they want to see. It’s me learning as well about things like using social media and editing properly.”

Watkins has been there and seen just about everything during his career, which is seeing him come to the end of his 17th pre-season.

Look from the outside and the Red Devils, with just 24 players having lost stars Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers, Joe Burgess and Ken Sio, are in for a struggle.

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But from the inside hopes are high they can defy the odds once again, with a new stadium deal set to unlock plenty of money.

Watkins believes Salford can defy a pre-season that saw stars leave.SWPIX.COM

First lesson for Paul Rowley’s men, though, has been going back to the old school.

Watkins, 32, added: “We’re here to win trophies, regardless of the size of the squad. The lads that are here now are capable of filling the void.

“It’s been pretty tough. There are a couple of new rules coming into the game this year, so we’ve had to apply ourselves well.

“The play the ball change is going to be pretty big. It’ll be pulled up a fair bit early on. We have to get used to playing it properly again. I feel like I’m at Folly Lane again back in the day!”

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