24th May 2019, 10:24 | Oldham

Oldham welcome Brownies and Guides

Oldham welcome Brownies and Guides

Oldham RLFC welcomed the leaders and girls from the Chadderton-based 26th Oldham Rainbow, Brownie and Guide unit to the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (May 19) for the match against Coventry Bears.

The girls, most of whom watched their first live game, were the club's flag bearers.

The group's Lisa Rylands said: "The girl-guiding experience is all about fun and friendship and with that in mind we were delighted to accept the invitation from Oldham RLFC.

"It was a new experience for the girls and it's the sort of thing that builds confidence and self-esteem."

The 26th Oldham unit has been giving girls the Guiding experience for 26 years on a weekly basis with the same leaders.

They are one of many similar units in Oldham and hundreds more across Great Britain, each giving girls the opportunity to learn new skills; earn qualifications; experience international travel and much more, all with fun at the core of everything they do.

In another of the club's community initiatives, Oldham Foodbank also had staff and volunteers at the game, receiving donations of tinned and long-life food from Roughyeds fans.

On Saturday morning the club held its first meeting for members of Roary's Pride, the newly-formed group for young supporters up to the age of 16. Most of those who have joined so far are much younger than 16.

Blue Watch from the local Hollins Fire Station turned up in a fire engine and talked to the children, as did three players who popped in after training -- club skipper Gareth Owen, Danny Bridge and Harry Maders.

Club mascot Roary the lion, who is fronting the new organisation, welcomed children, most of them wearing their new Roary-branded hats, and said get-togethers would be held monthly.

"The children loved it. We wanted to set off with an event that would whet their appetite for more and I think we achieved that," said David Murgatroyd, who is running Roary's Pride with Sophie Nixon and mascot Roary.

Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton said: "We are working hard on our community programmes and these were the latest of several community-based projects we have undertaken this season."

The club has formed links with Co-op Academy, Failsworth, whose IT pupils had a competition to design the new logo for Roary's Pride. Roughyeds are also heavily involved in The Oldham Pledge, a project run by local schools and designed to prepare children for life after school.

As part of The Pledge initiative more than 200 pupils, parents and staff were at the home game against London Skolars in March.