Newcastle Thunder's Community Project brought another successful term of Sky Try delivery to a close last week, with a festival at Kingston Park Stadium.
Entering its third year, Sky Try aims to make a difference by increasing the amount of viewers, spectators and participants to Rugby League, with Thunder's delivery reaching over 700 participants in 20 schools.
Working with local grassroots clubs the Community Project's coaches identify schools and build a progression pathway between them, this term has seen five weeks of coaching delivered to year 7 boys from as far afield as Morpeth and Eaglescliffe.
Offering increased opportunities for secondary schools to play rugby league and workshops for teachers to develop the sustainability of the sport, it is a programme that is delivering on these targets, as Rob Jones explains: "This term's festival has been brilliant and really competitive.
"We've seen a definite increase in the standard of the players, particularly in the schools who are repeat participants.
"The kids taking part have really enjoyed and the number of them progressing into local clubs is really encouraging. At Gateshead Storm for example, they have been able to create a new under 12s team based solely on the transfer of kids taking part in Sky Try sessions, which is great to see."
Sky Try activity in early 2017 will see Thunder's Community Project offer Rugby League opportunities to key stage 2 pupils and girls Touch Rugby sessions as the region gears up for the return of the Dacia Magic Weekend and the club prepares for the start of the Kingstone Press League 1 season.