The work of the Newcastle Thunder Community Project has another success story to report in the build up to the Dacia Magic Weekend, with the news that local club Gateshead Storm has formed their first-ever girls team.
Drawn directly from participants of the Sky Try programme, which the project delivers to Year 7 pupils across the area, Storm have been welcoming a regular cohort of 15 youngsters to weekly training sessions over the past month.
The girls now training at the Storm had already transitioned from being part of the Sky Try programme, to after school clubs and are now anticipating playing their first game against Whitley Bay Barbarians Girls as a curtain-raiser ahead of 'Magic Friday' as Newcastle Thunder take on York City Knights on May 19.
It is a fixture that will see them play on the main pitch at Kingston Park Stadium from 19:15 and experience playing in front of a packed house, with a bumper crowd expected to turn out for the occasion.
Sky Try is the biggest-ever programme of Rugby League in schools
They will play in a curtain raiser as part of 'Magic Friday'
Storm Junior Chairman Rob Jones said: "The girls love the training at Storm and are all really looking forward to playing their first game at Kingston Park next Friday.
"A lot of the parents have been commenting about how good it is for the girls to be able to progress and keep playing after the Sky Try sessions, and it's something that will continue to grow.
"The long-term aim will be to keep these girls at the club and playing, bring more in and eventually have an Open Age girls team at Storm and the work of the Thunder Community Project is going to be key towards that."
Sky Try is the biggest-ever programme of Rugby League in schools, helping 700,000 more children and young people have fun, get active, grow in confidence and enjoy Rugby League.
To find out more, visit rugby-league.com/skytry.