The RFL and Sky Sports today launched Sky Try, an exciting new initiative that will reach 700,000 people over the course of the next seven years.
Sky Try is a multi-million pound project that will empower Rugby League clubs’ charitable Foundations across the country to make a massive difference by delivering new opportunities to play, watch and become involved in the sport.
Players from many First Utility Super League, Kingstone Press Championship and Kingstone Press League 1 clubs joined over 100 local schoolchildren at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes today to give Sky Try a memorable launch in front of specially invited guests.
With strong input from the club Foundations, the players, including Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield put the youngsters through their paces with a series of skills and drills that introduced the stars of tomorrow to the joys of playing Rugby League.
Sky Try will target development in four key areas between now and the end of 2020 – Primary Rugby League, Secondary Rugby League, Play Touch Rugby League and the ‘Making The Big Games Bigger’ campaign.
The initiative will reach over 100,000 people of all ages each year with the intention of increasing the number of people regularly involved in community clubs or as spectators and viewers.
Funding for individual projects will be distributed by the RFL, who will also monitor and influence the work done by the Foundations to ensure that the aims of Sky Try are being met.
RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “On behalf of everyone involved in Rugby League I would like to thank Sky Sports for this significant investment: Sky Try will make a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of people, by involving them in this great sport in a wide variety of ways.
“Like all major sports, most players come to Rugby League as schoolchildren and thanks to this excellent initiative our sport now has the resources to deliver a co-ordinated series of programmes to reach children in both a club and school environment.
“It is terrific that Sky Sports are involved in Rugby League; they are more than mere broadcasters, they are true partners who share our commitment to the sport at every level.”
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, commented: “Sky Sports is delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the development of Rugby League via the Sky Try initiative which I am sure will have a long and lasting impact on the sport.
“Our partnership in Rugby League extends beyond broadcast rights because here at Sky we are committed to making a difference at every level of sport.
“The Rugby League club Foundations are well placed to deliver the Sky Try programme across the UK because of their local connections and we are aware that they are already producing outstanding results.
“Sky Try will allow the Foundations to build on the great work they are already doing and Sky Sports will do what it can to play a full role in what I am sure will be a sporting success story.”
Further details of Sky Try can be found by visiting www.skytry.org