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Community Board

The Community Board is to assist the management structure of the RFL

The role of the Community Board is to assist in the organisation and management structure of the RFL, and to bring together all areas of the British Rugby League community, grassroots and amateur game under the governance of the RFL. 

The Community Board is made up of representatives of the various sectors of the community game being BARLA; Combined Services Rugby League; Education rugby league settings; Higher Education rugby league settings; Tier Four Leagues; Tier Five and Tier Six Adult Leagues; Tier Five Youth and Junior Leagues and Foundations. The RFL nominates one Director to act as Chair, a person to represent Active Participants and 2 other Independent representatives. The current Chair is Sandy Lindsay (who assumed the Chair in September 2020).

Board Members

Sandy Lindsay MBE

Rfl Non-executive Director & Chair Of The Community Board

Sandy Lindsay MBE is Chair of Tangerine, the specialist c...

Sandy Lindsay MBE is Chair of Tangerine, the specialist creative communications agency she founded in Manchester in 2002.

In 2015 she was awarded the MBE for services to business and young people, and in the same year she was named North West Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors (and Highly Commended in the same awards nationally). That followed the launch in 2013 of The Juice Academy, the UK's first industry-led social media apprenticeship which has created jobs for almost 350 young people in the North West.

A champion of social mobility, Sandy chairs Skills Groups for the North West Business Leadership Team and the Institute of Directors, is on the Business Leadership Council of Teach First, Vice Chair of Forever Manchester and is a Non-Executive Director of Flock and Northcoders.

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FL Damian Clayton MBE

RAF is the Armed Forces representative on the Community Board

FL Damian Clayton MBE RAF is the Armed Forces representat...

FL Damian Clayton MBE RAF is the Armed Forces representative on the Community Board.

He has played a key role in the recognition and overall development of Rugby League in the RAF and Armed Forces.

Together with the fellow member of the RFL Roll of Honor – Martin Coyd, they drove the sport towards gaining official recognition in the RAF on Jan 1, 1996.  He was awarded an MBE in the 2002 for services to Rugby League in the Armed Forces.

As a player, Clayton captained the RAF Rugby League side from 1994 until 2006 and holds the role of Station Warrant Officer at the RAF College, the home of RAF Rugby League.

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Sue Taylor

BARLA Representative

Taylor has almost 40 years of experience within Rugby Lea...

Taylor has almost 40 years of experience within Rugby League after being introduced to the game by her husband John in 1974.

Elected as BARLA Chairwoman in 2013, she is also Secretary of the Pennine League and has held a number of roles within clubs and leagues over the years.

A passionate supporter of the game, she retired from her role as a Company Secretary in 2012 after 28 years in the job.

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Trevor Hunt

Club Representative Of Tier Four Community Game

Hunt played at Leigh Miners for 25 years after joining th...

Hunt played at Leigh Miners for 25 years after joining them from Leeds University where he was a Student International centre.

He played every position except hooker and was a member of the Miners’ Management Committee and Leigh and District League until 1996.

He was part of the BARLA International Management Team on the first open-age South Pacific Tour of 1990 to Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands before visiting Fiji and New Zealand in 1992 to set up the 1994 South Pacific Tour with Fiji.

Trevor is the Chairman of the National Conference League and a Rugby League Journalist who has been a member of the BBC Radio Manchester Rugby League Team since 1986.

In 2012, he and his co-host Jack Dearden won the coveted Frank Gillard Award for the Local Radio Sport’s Programme of the Year – the equivalent of a radio Oscar – for their Rugby League Extra Programme on Thursday nights which has been running since 1996.

Trevor has commentated on every Challenge Cup Final and Grand Final since 1998, and every World Cup since 1995 as well as writing for various publications since 1975.

He is the current Chair of the Rugby League Writers Association, a position he has held since 2009.

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Stuart Prior

Adult Club Representative Of Tier Five Community Game

Stuart’s playing days started in the Early 1980’s when Or...

Stuart’s playing days started in the Early 1980’s when Orrell St James was a fledgling nomadic club, Stuart played as a Hooker, a position he kept until his senior days, however Stuart’s Senior career took him to play Rugby Union with Orrell RUFC and later Aspull but was cut short through injury at an early age. It was not until 1999 when his eldest son wanted to take up the game with his friends that Stuart’s relationship started with Wigan St Patricks. Stuart soon became a committee member and held various positions but was known more for his work with the Youth and Junior sections.

Stuart later got involved with BARLA and got elected to the board of management in the late 2000’s and represented BARLA at the Community board from 2010 until 2012

Stuart soon became a Manager on international rugby running the BARLA under 17’s for 4 successful years then taking on board the managers role for the RFL’S then Community Lions which soon became the England Lions. Stuart looked after tours to South Africa, Australia, and Fiji to mention a few.

Stuart now leads on the RFL’s Lionhearts program which is based around regional representative rugby offering committed players the opportunity to represent their region and country on development tours.

Stuart dedication to rugby league also sees him as Chair of the North West Men’s League and he sits on the RFL’s Regulatory group and Community Board international group.

In what little time Stuart has left he commits to his business and his volunteering work. Stuart Business is property investments and developments, and he is the Chair of a Multi Academy trust

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Jan Robinson

Youth & Junior Club Representative Of Tier Five Community Game

Jan’s background lies in the teaching of sport and is exp...

Jan’s background lies in the teaching of sport and is experienced in the Youth, Junior and Primary School elements of Rugby League. Jan was first introduced to the game back in 2010 and retired from teaching in 2012.

In 2013 Jan had a very busy year as she was elected chair of North East Juniors, awarded the RFL volunteer of the year, became the North East representative on the youth and Junior group and became chair of the North east management group. She is trained as a DBS verifier and is experienced in safeguarding.

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Neil Ashton

Education Setting Representative

Neil is the English Schools representative on the communi...

Neil is the English Schools representative on the community board and was appointed on June 2015.

Neil is a PE and Assistant Head teacher at secondary school in Wigan and has been involved in the Champion Schools since its relaunch in 2002.

Neil has supported several teams to local, regional and National success – in 2012 his school were the first in history to have all 5 age groups qualify for the National stages of the Champion Schools. This achievement, alongside his work convening Wigan and Leigh Schools, resulted in Neil being recognised as English Schools Rugby League Teacher of the Year for 2012.

Neil is the Education Setting Representative on the community board, and the elected Chair of the Young Persons Education Forum, and was appointed on June 2015.

Neil is a PE and Assistant Head teacher at secondary school in Wigan and has been involved in the Champion Schools since its relaunch in 2002.

Neil has supported several teams to local, regional and National success – in 2012 his school were the first in history to have all 5 age groups qualify for the National stages of the Champion Schools. This achievement, alongside his work convening Wigan and Leigh Schools, resulted in Neil being recognised as English Schools Rugby League Teacher of the Year for 2012.

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Steve Curtis

Higher Education Representative

Steve is the Higher Education Representative on the commu...

Steve is the Higher Education Representative on the community board, and the elected Chair of the University Advisory Group, and was appointed in 2020.

Steve has worked in sport development in the higher education sector since 2008 and is currently Head of Sport and Student Life at the University of Hull. Steve is the Universities representatives on the Community Board and is also a member of the board at Active Humber.

Steve has been involved in University Rugby League since 2001, initially as a player, coach, committee member and more recently he has chaired the British Universities & Colleges (BUCS) Rugby League Sport Advisor Group, a position held since 2014.

Steve has been the Tour Manager for the GB Student Pioneers since 2010, taking the Pioneers to emerging countries across Europe and Africa to develop the great sport of Rugby league.

Steve's is still a regular RL Touch player in Hull.

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Neil Kelly

Representative of the Foundation Forum

Neil comes from a Leisure and Business background with wo...

Neil comes from a Leisure and Business background with working experience in education, sports and community development. He also boasts a playing career playing professional for South Wales, representing the country for BARLA in Australia and South Arfrica, plus being a member of the very successful Woolston Rovers team of the 90s.

Before establishing the Warrington Wolves Foundation he was employed in the Local Authority’s Sports Development team with a specific role of developing Rugby League in partnership with Professional Club Warrington Wolves.

In this period the Super League Club has won Best Community Programme six times and was recognised nationally by winning Sports Industry’s best community programme in the country. The Club committed to the Council’s Community Pledges, achieving targets only imaginable through excellent working relationships.

The community programme was transformed into the establishment of a charitable Trust in 2005. Neil was at the forefront of this development and the team are based at the stadium led by a community floor development second to none in partnership working.

16 years on and The Foundation is highlighted as good practice for the work it does with it’s community in Sport, Health & Education across the country.

Neil has a wealth of experience and a true belief in what SPORT can deliver for its communities.

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Lois Forsell

Participant Representative

Lois has played Rugby League at all levels from mixed gra...

Lois has played Rugby League at all levels from mixed grassroots, girls only, Women’s Super League and International.

Lois has worked for Leeds Rhinos Foundation as their Women & Girls Development Officer since 2013 and following a career ending injury in 2018 she retired from playing Women’s Super League for Leeds Rhinos Women and in 2019 was appointed Head Coach.

She is very passionate about the growth of Rugby League and in particular the development of the women’s game from grassroots up to elite level, and since 2018 was appointed the women’s ambassador for the RFL.

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Peter Morgan

Independent Representative

Moran is a Solicitor Advocate and Partner in a criminal l...

Moran is a Solicitor Advocate and Partner in a criminal law practice based in Wigan.

He was appointed to the Community Board by Richard Lewis in 2004 and has been heavily involved in the grassroots game.

He played for St Cuthberts and St John Rigby College before moving to open age with Whelley ARLFC and Wigan St Patricks.

He was jointly responsible for the founding of the North West Counties Youth League in the mid 1970's and became its first fixture secretary and was Rugby Secretary for the successful Wigan St Patricks youth sides for over 15 years.

He has held various positions within BARLA, while serving as President of the association for many years. He has been actively involved in the National Conference League since its inception, as Chairman and currently President.

He negotiated its re-branding in conjunction with the RFL in 1994 and has helped secure the League's present dominant position as the premier competition within the Community Game.

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Fred Baker

Independent Representative

Yorkshire-born Baker lives in Shropshire where he works a...

Yorkshire-born Baker lives in Shropshire where he works as a research technician at a local University.

Baker first became a fan of Rugby League when a family friend took him to Wiggington Road to watch York as a youngster.

In 1999, he moved from East Yorkshire to Shropshire and was an administrator, coach and eventually chairperson of Telford Raiders.

He was involved in the Midlands Steering Group which pushed forward the development of the junior and senior game in the region.

Over the last ten years, he has played a major part in the growth of Rugby League across the Midlands. He is an active level 2 coach, most recently at club, RPDC and Midlands’ u18s level.

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Organisations

Armed Forces

Armed Forces Rugby League reaches across the three Armed ...

Armed Forces Rugby League reaches across the three Armed Services, with activities including full 13-a-side playing opportunities for both male and female players, alongside participation opportunities for Wheelchair users, Touch, Tag and Masters, Coaching, Coach Education and Match Officials.

The Combined Services Rugby League, now called Great Britain Armed Forces Rugby League, was established in 1997 and is the highest representative level within the three Services, coordinating representative-level sides in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

Each constituent body organises its own competition at Station, Unit and Corps level, with players selected for their respective representative sides through an annual Inter-Services Competition.

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BARLA

Founded in 1973 and affiliated with the RFL in 2004, BARL...

Founded in 1973 and affiliated with the RFL in 2004, BARLA represents the Pennine League, Hull & District and WRLA competitions provides social and recreational competitions.

Huddersfield-based, the organisation is also responsible for the BARLA National Cup which runs for both Men, Youth and Junior players and County Cups for Men, Youth and Juniors in Yorkshire and Cumbria.

BARLA also runs a representative team and county representative sides in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.

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English Schools

English Schools Rugby League was formed in 1967 to help e...

English Schools Rugby League was formed in 1967 to help enable the organising and playing of International games, act as one body for the distribution of Grant Aid received from the RFL and to act as an organising body to spread the game.

The Champion Schools Tournament was notably relaunched in 2002 and the August final viewed by many as the pinnacle of Schools Rugby League, with the year seven finalists turning out at Wembley as the curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup Final.

English Schools Rugby League is seen as a crucial part of introducing young people to the sport, helping oversee a significant growth in schools in recent times, spreading to an ever-increasing number of young people throughout the United Kingdom.

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Tier 4 Conference Leagues

Conference Leagues cover the National Conference League a...

Conference Leagues cover the National Conference League and the Conference League South, both considered to be the pinnacle of Men's Community Rugby League in the North and South repsectively.

Both Conference Competitions play an important role in satisfying the demand for high quality, regular, competitive Rugby League and many players will play Conference standard Rugby League on their way to playing professionally.

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Tier 5 Youth & Junior Leagues

This sector of the game is where most people experience t...

This sector of the game is where most people experience their first introduction to Rugby League. From Primary Rugby League in fun, non-competitive environments to regular week in week out league competitions for teenagers, this section of the game is the future.

Represented at this level are the national picture of leagues, which includes West Cumbira, Barrow & District, North East, North West Counties 8s-12s, North West Counties 13s-15s, North West Youth, Hull & District, Yorkshire Juniors, Midlands and London.

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University and Colleges

Student Rugby League was renamed the University and Colle...

Student Rugby League was renamed the University and College Rugby League (UCRL) in late 2014 and is now host to over 2,500 registered players.

Rugby League is currently played at 36 colleges and 52 universities around the UK, a number which is growing each year, and it is viewed by the RFL a as a crucial part of Rugby League's national growth going forward, with star graduates from the competitions including St Helens prop Alex Walmsley.

University and Colleges Rugby League has a vibrant social media approach, with a joined up representative programme for both Universities, Colleges and Women's Students offering players in this sector opportunities at international level.

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Tiers 5 & 6 Adult Leagues

This sector includes both Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby Le...

This sector includes both Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League alongside Regional Rugby League played in the North East, Cumbria, North West, Yorkshire, Midlands, East, South East, London and South West.

From 1996 with the birth of the Summer Conference, the game of Rugby League has continued to grow its national footprint, with this sector of the game truly giving a national flavour to Rugby League played from March to October.

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Meeting Minutes