A number of Bath Rugby players have returned to the classroom to learn how to tackle their own home improvement jobs rather than calling in help.
The players have spent the day at City of Bath College brushing up on their practical skills and learning the basics of plumbing and stonemasonry.
The hands-on taster sessions ignited the interests of players and gave them the basic knowledge and confidence to carry out their own renovations.
It is hoped that the day may have also inspired them to work in these trades in the future.
The College’s specialist teachers taught the players about water pipes, joint work, valves and soldering.
Some of them unleashed their creative sides and learnt how to use stone to create house name and number signs.
The players who signed up for the course on a day-off from training included Tom Dunn, Nathan Catt, Max Northcote-Green, David Sisi, Tom Wolfenstencroft, Richard Lane and Chris Cook.
Bath Rugby prop Nathan Catt said: “I knew a little bit about plumbing, but not enough!
“It’s always been a case of calling my dad in for help. He always has to do the technical stuff around the house when I try my best to assist.
“I’m interested in property development and I want the practical knowledge to be able to do things myself so I don’t have to keep calling people out to help.”
Nathan studied sport at City of Bath College in 2004-6 and said it was “great but quite bizarre” to be back in the classrooms after nine years.
He added: “It’s very different to how I remember it, there’s a new building which looks very impressive. I really do feel like I’m a student again and I’ll be told off again any minute!”
Bath Rugby Prop/Hooker Tom Dunn said the plumbing course “brought the memories back” as he worked as a labourer for nine months when he was 18.
He said: “The lads think I know what I’m doing and stuff has come back to me but I still have a lot to learn. I’m not too bad on the theory but not on the practical stuff.
“I’m looking to buy a house so I want to have the skills to do the little jobs myself rather than having to spend money on calling someone out.”
Bath Rugby’s Player Development Manager Budge Pountney, of the Rugby Players’ Association, said the one-day course was about expanding the players’ interests outside of rugby.
He said: “Playing rugby professionally is a great career but it is really short-lived. This is about giving the players some preparation for the transformation of life after rugby.
“Many of the players already have a key interest in property so this gives them a practical knowledge of the skills needed around the house.
“We hope they consider going on to complete further courses and eventually even go on to work in these trades. We see this as the basis of their future learning.”
Daisy Walsh, Head of Engineering, Construction and Computing at City of Bath College, said: “It’s been our pleasure to welcome back members of Bath Rugby Club to City of Bath College.
“The players have been able to build on the skills developed in carpentry during their previous visit.
“We really hope we’ve encouraged and inspired them in plumbing and stonemasonry and hope they will want to continue developing their skills in these areas.
“We look forward to working with Bath Rugby again.”