1st May 2020, 16:29 | Community
Community Rugby League, alongside other community sport, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis breaking at the start of the season.
Clubs lose income from match days and events, and their costs remain around buildings, insurances, pitch maintenance and more.
Community clubs traditionally reinvest their income into their facilities, kit and equipment, travel and opportunities for players and coaches – all of which support outstanding sporting opportunities for girls, boys, women and men in clubs across the country. Club volunteers are providing on the ground support in their communities right now – to help older, vulnerable and lonely people in difficulty; online Rugby League themed activities; and providing a focal point for local information and services.
The RFL has acted swiftly to support clubs to access support from a variety of sources - to help them to weather the current pressures and look to protect clubs, and their teams, so that the club stays together as a vital part of the community and can come back to playing the sport in a strong and sustainable position.
Marc Lovering, Participation and Development Director said:
"Community clubs are the bedrock of the sport and the financial impact of the crisis on them is very real.
"We have been working to support our community clubs in taking advantage of the various Government initiatives available and to access the Sport England Emergency Funding since community Rugby League activity ceased in mid-march. We have a team supporting clubs on an individual basis in addition to colleagues working on various initiatives to keep the whole Rugby League Community active. We are in regular communication with all clubs via Club Webinars, OuRLearning Zone as well as by phone and email.
"We can help all clubs, in all areas, to understand and access available support – please contact us.
"To date, over £750,000 has been received by community clubs from the various national and regional initiatives and emergency funding. This figure will continue to rise as there are numerous applications still in the system. It also doesn’t take into account for example monies received under the furlough scheme or more localised funding streams.
"We are confident the total financial support for the grassroots game will exceed £1m. We will continue to work with community clubs to ensure they access the support available so the pressures on them are eased and we can look forward with confidence to when training and play can restart."
The RFL encourages all community clubs in all areas who have not yet accessed support to speak to members of the Participation and Development team who are here to help.
Contact: John McMullen, National Clubs Manager
M: 07500 060496