9th October 2020, 17:11 | Community
Grants of up to £3,000 are being made available to help Rugby League’s community clubs return to play.
As clubs continue to experience considerable challenges during the Covid pandemic, the Rugby Football League (RFL) has been awarded £150,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to support them.
The cash will help community clubs, particularly those in Rugby League’s most deprived communities, continue the process of returning to play – in line with the sport’s government-approved Return to Play Action Plan. Community Rugby League is currently at Stage 4 of the plan, the RFL Board having recently approved the introduction of localised friendlies during October and November.
Applications open from Monday 12 October and the RFL will be contacting eligible clubs to advise them on the process. It is estimated that more than 100 clubs nationwide could receive financial support towards costs associated with first aid and PPE, training equipment, training venue fees etc.
Marc Lovering, RFL Director of Participation and Development, says:
“Having today confirmed that our youth and junior age groups can play friendly matches from mid-October, the timing of this announcement couldn’t have been better. Our community clubs are under considerable pressure, both in terms of the challenges of returning to play and financial sustainability.
“This additional funding and support secured through Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund is much needed and very welcome. We are grateful to the National Lottery and Sport England for their ongoing support during these challenging times.”
Through its Tackling Inequalities Fund, Sport England aims to address the impact of the pandemic on activity levels among underrepresented groups within deprived communities.
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, adds:
“We are proud to be able to provide funding and support to Rugby League in this difficult period. This funding will help support our valuable community infrastructure that is so important in keeping the nation active and will also provide important connections and reconnections for people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19 and for whom remaining active is so important for their physical, mental and social wellbeing. We know from our research and data that there are existing inequalities between groups when it comes to activity levels and COVID-19 has re-enforced these.
“Thanks to the support of the National Lottery and its players, the Tackling Inequalities Fund will be both crucial and central to ensuring no-one is left behind when it comes to having the opportunity to be active during this period. This builds off the back of our £35m Community Emergency Fund that has already reached and supported over 7,500 community clubs and groups across England.”
The RFL will continue to work with Sport England to support key communities.
About the Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund
Part of Sport England’s overall £210m support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through COVID-19, Sport England is working with Active Partnerships and National Partners who have specific expertise engaging with our priority audiences.
Further information on this fund can be found here.
About National Lottery
National Lottery players raise £30m every week for good causes, funding arts, heritage, sports, voluntary and charity projects around the UK. For more information on good causes in your area, click here.
About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active - like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.