Former Astley student Sam Hulme has become the first female from the Seaton Valley Federation to play rugby league at professional level. Sam is playing for the Women’s Super League team Leeds Rhinos.

Sam began her rugby journey at Seaton Sluice Middle School, continuing at Astley Community High School, and leading the Year 10 rugby league team to the Champion Schools National Final and winning in 2015.

Sam also plays rugby league for Whitley Bay Barbarians and has represented Morpeth Rugby Union and Northumberland Rugby Union. Since Sam left Astley sixth form in 2018 she has taken up employment but has also began to play rugby league for Leeds Rhinos, competing in the Women’s Super League which is now entering its second season. 

PE Teacher, Mr Carbutt commented: "I am really pleased for Sam. She has been a key driver in raising the standards across our girls rugby teams and this is now a great opportunity for her, one in which I hope she will grasp with both hands. Opportunities for women in both codes of rugby are getting better all the time and this can only be a good thing. It often takes one student or group to break the glass ceiling and this is something that I hope will inspire girls across our federation schools, and in future years, I will be able to report on more girls making it to the top of the game and competing with the best players in the country.”

Executive Head Teacher, SVF, Mr Barnes said: “I am very pleased for Sam she is a fabulous player who has always wanted to do well in her rugby. I wish her all the very best and have no doubt that she will go on to higher honours. I hope that many of our other talented rugby players go on to follow in Sam’s footsteps and play rugby at league and union at a very high level.”

Head of School, ACHS, Mr Scott said: “Great news to hear that Sam is doing very well and is now playing professional rugby league. An outstanding achievement by her and all involved in her development over the years. Hopefully, she will be the first of many students from the SVF to progress to this level. Well done Sam!  National team next?”