5th June 2020, 17:55 | therfl

Supporting Volunteers

Supporting Volunteers

This week is Volunteers’ Week. Rugby League volunteers have been at the heart of work across the sport to respond to the health emergency in our communities with amazing fundraising and practical support which continues to make a huge difference to thousands of people in challenging times.  

Marc Lovering, Participation and Development Director says, “Volunteers are now working with the RFL team to prepare for the restart of Community Rugby League. The sport will bounce back thanks to the commitment and passion of community game volunteers. We want to ensure that great support is available to everyone; and that being involved in Rugby League is fun, safe, and inclusive and provides opportunities to gain skills and new experiences together. Thank you to everyone this Volunteers’ Week and every week.” 


Here is a flavour of some of the support available to Rugby League volunteers: 



- Webinars to date have covered a wide range of support to all in Community RL plus the Elite Player Pathway and the England Talent Pathway.  

- With topics including Developing Players for the Future delivered by Shaun Wane – England Head Coach; Team or Individual Development - Which is the most important? delivered by Paul Anderson England Knights Head Coach.  

- And Managing Time as a Coach - to help coaches plan their time effectively to help deliver quality Rugby League training sessions, delivered by Dave Elliott, National Programmes Manager & England Academy Head Coach. 


Our Learning Zone:  

- Our Learning Zone is an education and resource platform for the whole sport  

- Our Learning Zone enables groups to share knowledge, support each other and access learning and development opportunities. Groups now include Grassroots Coaches, Grassroots Club Volunteers and Match Officials – over 1400 people in the sport are involved.  

- Education and e-learning resources are uploaded regularly as the platform expands and currently include: Coaching Best Practice; Safeguarding; Player Welfare; First Aid; Concussion Protocols & Management; Coaching Skill Development and Managing Touchline Behaviour.  

- Further coaching CPD resources are being developed and coming up next are: Teaching Games for Understanding; Primary Rugby League Games Coach; Role of the Dummy Half; Defensive Cycle; Coaching Process; and Positive Coaching. 

- Coaches and other volunteers are also signposted to free resources from RFL partners including UK Coaching. 

- The successful #SkillToPlay and #FitToPlay resources are also available via Our Learning Zone – keeping everyone engaged at home or in the park during this period without matches and formal training. The Virtual Club and Virtual Game Day resources can be found there too.  

- Community Club Leaders is a new group to assist clubs and their volunteers during this unprecedented time. Volunteers and RFL colleagues have been sharing advice and guidance on Covid-19 updates; Government guidance; Club Development; Sport England and other funding opportunities; RLWC2021 legacy funding opportunities; and physical activity & wellbeing resources.  

- The RFL team has supported Community Club Leaders to access around £1m of funding support in this lockdown period to help the sport be in the best shape for our restart.  


What’s next?  

Everyone is missing the opportunity to learn together on a pitch and in a clubhouse. But recent weeks have highlighted the strengths of online learning where appropriate. So, the team is developing a blended learning model with our Awarding Organisation and our Education Partner. This will enable volunteer coach learners on RFL programmes to reduce their travel and other time commitments.  

Volunteers will continue to be at the heart of the Restart of Community Rugby League’ planning which is underway. New opportunities will include volunteering and learning opportunities with the sport’s national social care partner Community Integrated Care. And new ways of working together on diversity and inclusion in Rugby League, including exciting opportunities to be part of RLWC2021.