Pupils at Little Ealing Primary School have caught the Rugby League bug, thanks to the London Broncos Community Programme.

The Broncos’ Community team has delivered Rugby League based PE lessons with the school for three years. During this time, it has engaged with all year groups and more than 540 pupils across years one to six.  

Sessions are delivered weekly to each year group and last 45 minutes. They are inclusive and focus on the development of skills important on the field and in life such as teamwork, problem solving and communication. 

Bobby Behzadi has worked at Little Ealing Primary School for nine years and is Head of Physical Education. He explained how the Broncos’ sessions have inspired more pupils than ever to make Rugby League their sport of choice. 

“Rugby League has a bit of a stigma attached to it in schools with pupils believing the sport is only for strong men with cauliflower ears,” said Bobby. “What the Broncos have done is get rid of that stigma and opened the sport up to everyone. 

“With COVID-19 restrictions easing, we have a school tournament pencilled in and the number of pupils – including girls – that want to play is incredible. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to welcome the Broncos’ Community team into our school each week. 

“They are passionate about Rugby League and understand the sport which is invaluable. One of the hardest things to teach pupils is how to move forwards but pass the ball backwards, skills like this plus the basics of throwing, catching and spatial awareness are all promoted in their sessions.

“We’re pleased pupils have sourced a new passion in Rugby League and look forward to further visits in the future.”

The Broncos’ partnership with Little Ealing Primary School was formed in 2018 with the community team delivering a six-week block of sessions to a single year group. Its success saw the project grow with all year groups now receiving weekly PE lessons. 

John Keyes, the Broncos Community Programme Manager, said: “Little Ealing Primary School has embraced the Broncos badge as soon as we first visited the school. 

“We have delivered a number of projects and Bobby is always keen to be involved with the programmes we offer and has used our sessions to aid pupils’ development. 

“Working in partnership with Little Ealing has been fantastic for the club and we will continue to develop our relationship to raise the profile of Rugby League in London. 

“Everyone at the Broncos would like to thank Bobby and Little Ealing for their flexibility and professionalism in allowing us to continue the deliver of our COVID-19 secure sessions during the pandemic.” 

Schools interested in learning more about London Broncos Community Programme’s’ Rugby League focused PE sessions can email John via: [email protected]

The Community team also promotes other engaging programmes for schools and their pupils such as player assembly visits, matchday experiences and career guidance. 

The Broncos’ work with Little Ealing Primary School is funded by Sky Try, a ground breaking partnership initiative between the RFL, Sky and the Rugby League Foundations to help 700,000 young people have fun, get active and grow in confidence via Rugby League.