29th March 2021, 18:09 | rfl

Thank you Community Rugby League Volunteers!

Thank you Community Rugby League Volunteers!

Starting today thousands of Rugby League players return to training.

The number of registered teams is up on this point last year and player registrations are very strong with several weeks to go to the start of 2021 competitions. 

Social variants of the sport – Touch RL, Try Tag and Masters – can resume now and players registrations are up across the board. 

Marc Lovering, Director of Participation and Development says; “Good luck to all the players returning to outdoor training. Our very best wishes especially to the brand-new teams starting their Rugby League journey.  

“Thank you to the army of volunteers who have worked with us non-stop to keep players engaged, and to encourage registrations.  

“Community Rugby League volunteers are the absolute heroes of this period for the sport. Coaches who joined our webinars and took up the Skill To Play and Fit To Play resources and kept young people active and involved; all the teams who took part in Virtual Gamedays; and the hundreds of volunteers who stepped forward to become their club’s Covid Officer – a volunteer role none of us could have anticipated in 2019. 

“Everyone has pulled together brilliantly. Communications across the Community Game from the governing body to leagues and clubs, and from clubs to their players and parents have been frequent and effective. To everyone who has given so much to the grassroots game in a difficult year – thank you. We have really missed Community Rugby League and we are all ready to play.”

The pandemic has accelerated innovation in the Community game. 

  • When lockdown hit the RFL developed a range of online training sessions for young players Skill To Play and Fit To Play.
  • The RFL, in partnership with the sport’s national social care charity Community Integrated Care, and Leeds Rhinos Foundation, launched the inclusive #ActiveAtHome initiative so that everyone could join in whatever their levels of fitness or additional needs. 
  • The RFL’s Virtual Gameday concept resulted in new clubs and teams joining the sport and kept existing teams connected. One new team - West Oxford Levelers U13s - had their first ever ‘match’  via the Virtual Gameday experience and are now looking forward to taking to the pitch together for the first time.
  • The RFL worked with clubs to ensure that Socially Distanced Training Sessions took place in 2020 when permitted and facilitated the sign-off by Government of the return to contact Rugby League before some piloted gameday activities in Autumn 2020.
  • Over 30 webinars for coaches and other volunteers took place during 2020 and are continuing, covering everything from Covid-19 guidance issued from DCMS to agreeing action plans for the game to return safely, and coach education and support via Our Learning Zone
  • And the RFL and clubs worked together to access to significant national and local funding support including through Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund and Tackling Inequalities Fund.
  • Further grant support secured by the RFL for the Community Game was announced today.

Over 10,000 players and rising are set to enjoy a summer of Social Rugby League - Touch RL, Try Tag Rugby  and X-League.  

Masters RL has seen a 12% growth in participants before a game has been staged. Congratulations all involved in promoting these parts of the sport.  

Schools Rugby League is back

Activity is underway both in curriculum time and as part of extra-curricular provision, with many participating in virtual School Games activities during home schooling including virtual skillsand ‘Set of 6’ challenges. Rugby League Foundations have been instrumental in delivering covid-compliant sessions – thank you and congratulations to them. 

College Rugby League has returned

Both men’s and women’s teams have been able to get back into training in line with DfE guidance. College Rugby League games are back in early May with the RFL receiving a good number of expressions of interest from college teams and development academies. 

 

Good luck everyone – get ready to play!