Whilst many of us were handed an enforced period away from our usual day to day work this summer our Community Manager and Player Welfare Officer John Keyes has had a very busy, and productive, few months around the club and our Community.

In his role as the clubs Player Welfare Officer John has been in constant contact with our furloughed players and staff to ensure that they are coping with this difficult period both physically and mentally, offering advice and assistance where needed and encouraging them to chat about their current feelings. Roles like this within clubs often go un-noticed but John is happy to be working behind the scenes with a squad that contains players he has seen develop from juniors into First team squad members. For some of the players John has been a reassuring voice, someone to vent frustration at or simply someone to have a joke with.

He told us “To be fair the boys have pretty much all been in good spirits despite it being an incredibly tough time for them. We need to remember these lads are used to been around each other almost every day of the week, playing Rugby and enjoying the gym. This was taken away from them suddenly and we have a duty of care to make regular checks on the boys to ensure they are coping”.

During the lockdown period, Rhys Curran has undertaken 2 Electrical Installation courses, in preparation for life after Rugby. Rhys was very proactive in making sure he was undertaking courses that would be accepted back in Australia. We managed to get Rhys support from RL Cares and he successfully applied for a grant to support his studies.

Keyes has also tried to find opportunities for players to keep themselves busy during the summer and was quick to praise First Team player Jacob Ogden, Coach Chris Gale and Kit Man Max Savage for giving up their time to assist him with a very worthy project at neighbouring School Woodlands Academy. John explained “The School contacted us for some help in clearing a large area of the school field to create a great space for the pupils to learn outdoor skills and I was really impressed when Jacob, Chris and Max put their hands up and got stuck in to help do this for the School”. This was the first element of the creation of a Forest School and we will continue to support this project where we can.

This is of course just one of many projects John has overseen whilst heading up the clubs Community dept and this hard work and endeavour has seen the community team pick up 2 major awards in the 5 years John has been running it.

The Community Broncos have been preparing behind the scenes to kick start the Sky Try programme across London, this includes CPD for both schools and community clubs , as well as Rugby League sessions in both Primary & Secondary schools.

The work of John Keyes and his team is an indication of a bright future for the club and it’s links to the community. Through his work, and our Community RL Lotto, we hope to make a difference to the lives of hundreds of children each month as we head into 2021 and any offers of assistance with this will always be gratefully received. Be it a donation of funds, equipment or volunteering your time and expertise we would love to hear from you. Please email [email protected] and one of our team will be in touch.