Rugby League in London has been given a huge boost with the setting up of the London Rugby League Foundation to drive development of the game in the capital.
The main aim of the charitable trust is to grow the number of people involved in the game from players and volunteers to spectators. It will support the Rugby League community in and around London, increase the talent pool and raise the profile of the sport.
A range of trustees, with a passion for developing the sport in the South East, have been appointed, with a great mix of skill and experience across Rugby League, community sport and business.
RFL chairman Brian Barwick, who will chair the Foundation, said: “There is some terrific work being done in London and the South East to develop the great sport of Rugby League. The creation of the London Rugby League Foundation is a further positive step forward.”
Dan Steel, the former RFL National Clubs Manager, has been appointed director of the Foundation and is excited about his new role. “There is a genuine passion for the sport within the Rugby League community in London,” he said.
“There is a small but passionate community of volunteers in London and the South East that have done an outstanding job developing the sport, over the last decade.”
“The Foundation will support those volunteers in driving further growth in the game, but also deliver projects to improve skills, health and wellbeing within the wider Rugby League community.”
The Foundation will be a delivery partner of the new Sky Try initiative launched in February, which will see thousands of children receiving the opportunity to play Rugby League through delivery in schools and community clubs.
This will build on a strong history of community development in London which has had historic support from the RFL, a fantastic commercial partner in Hard Rock Cafe London, and more recently the Mayor of London.
Welcoming this announcement, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “I’m delighted that the RFL and its partners are investing in London through this new Foundation. Through work in schools and community clubs, it will help to get thousands of young people more active and will hopefully give them an interest in sport which will carry on throughout their lives.
“It is also fantastic to see that volunteering will form an important part of the Foundation and continue the volunteering legacy we kick-started during the 2012 Olympics in clubs all over the capital.”