11th January 2017, 14:55 | north_east
The community arm of one of the UK's leading Rugby League clubs has been enjoying the support of its local County Sport Partnership to get more kids into sport.
Rockets Community, part of Cramlington Rockets RLFC, has seen a healthy expansion of its satellite club programme in the last twelve months, thanks to funding from Northumberland Sport.
Rugby League in Northumberland was non-existent until Cramlington Rockets relocated there in 2009 from Killingworth in North Tyneside.
It was a brave move that paid off as they felt the desire for Rugby League across England's northern-most county was sufficient to make the move a success.
Eight years on and the Rockets now have over 230 players across eleven teams from Tots to adults.
The popularity of the satellite clubs ran by the Rockets means that there are now 100 young people participating, many of whom would not normally have had the chance to interact with the staff of the RFL's 2016 Club of the Year runners-up.
The Rockets now have over 230 players across eleven teams from Tots to adults
The popularity of the satellite clubs ran by the Rockets means that there are now 100 young people participating
While primarily used to increase awareness and participation at the Rugby League club, Rockets Community also aims to get as many children as possible involved in any sport, and the satellite clubs provide the perfect platform for this.
Speaking to Northumberland Sport's YouTube channel, Community Manager, Steve Beaty, said: "We have noticed since we started the satellite club project, we are starting to see children we would normally not engage, come down to the rugby club.
"Not just as players but as volunteers, as coaches and as referees and the amazing thing about that is it shows that sport is for everyone.
"The concept of what we are doing is that every six week term, we bring in a different group of children and they design the programme themselves. This is a very unique way of doing things."
The Rockets have found that by empowering the children involved to decide what they do means they enjoy it more and they typically bring their mates along as a result, building further awareness of the rugby league club.
But the staff recognises Rugby League is not for everyone.
Cramlington Rockets Satellite Club - King Edward VI School, Morpeth
Beaty added: "The end of the pathway for this is that we will get in touch with all the local amateur clubs in the area and say to them, 'would you like any potential players, volunteers, coaches, referees?'.
"It doesn't have to be Rugby League. It is about getting them from the satellite sport and giving them a sustainable pathway to sport."
With so many now taking part across Northumberland, they are providing a great example of how clubs and sport partnerships can work together to make a difference in areas where Rugby League is still a burgeoning sport.