The RFL is proud to announce a new £1.45million grant fund available to Community Rugby League clubs, available immediately and into the new year.
Starting today (Friday 17 September), the RFL will begin the process of contacting around 300 community clubs with the offer of funding to help them recoup revenue lost during the pandemic and rebuild for the future.
Community clubs were deprived of action and income for the whole of the 2020 season, and could make only a gradual and safety-first return to play in 2021 which continued to affect revenue streams.
In the coming weeks, the RFL will contact every community club in England, alerting them to the grants available and inviting them to apply. The RFL will support all applicants through every step of the process.
RFL Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, says: “Community clubs have had it tough. For many it’s a case of survive first, thrive later – and this funding stream is a direct response to the challenges they face here and now. We will also have an additional focus on women’s and girl’s Rugby League, reflecting concerns that female athletes have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“Community clubs are the bedrock of our game – the foundations upon which everything that is great about Rugby League are built. We will be contacting all clubs over the coming weeks, but any club facing the cliff edge and in need of urgent support should contact us immediately. Our aim is to help all community clubs to become financially stable in the short term and sustainable over the longer term.”
The RFL Community Club Fund is part of the government’s overall sports’ survival package, delivered via Sport England, and the award is testimony to the RFL’s excellent relationship with Sport England and the government’s awareness of the vital role clubs play within their communities.
Sandy Lindsay MBE, RFL non-executive director and Chair of the Community Board, adds: “In my experience of working with a large number of organisations in my career there are very few which would administrate such a huge piece of work without additional administrative support. However, the RFL is determined that every penny should go to the community clubs to ensure their immediate survival and will administer the scheme from within.
“There is a deep passion for, and understanding of, the importance of the community game within the RFL and we are extremely proud to have been able to work with our partners at Sport England the government to make this facility available, and to allocate resource to ensuring the clubs that need it will benefit from it.”
The RFL Community Club Fund will be in place until March 2022.