Grassroots rugby league showcased in Parliament
Yesterday (13 September), the inaugural Parliamentary Sports Fair was held in the Palace of Westminster, and provided an opportunity for MPs and Peers to find out more about grassroots Rugby League.
The event was organised by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, as part of their #GetYourKitOn campaign to encourage Members of Parliament to support community sport and recreation. As part of the event, the Parliamentary Rugby League Group welcomed representatives of the RFL, who briefed Members on how they could get involved with the sport in their constituencies.
The focus was on Sky Try, the RFL’s flagship community programme aimed at supporting grassroots development of the sport in England. MPs heard how the Sky Try campaign of playing, watching and getting involved at Super League and Championship games aims to make a difference by increasing the amount of viewers, spectators and participants in Rugby League.
One pillar of the programme is touch rugby league, and last week Members had the opportunity to try this non-contact form of the game when a Parliamentary touch rugby league match was held in central London.
Speaking after the Sports Fair, Chair of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group and MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, said “I am delighted that Members of Parliament have had the opportunity to find out more about Rugby League in their constituencies. Sky Try is a fantastic programme which is already providing opportunities for more children and young people across the country to get active.”
“Rugby League delivers important health and social benefits to communities throughout the UK, as well as offering opportunities to play competitive sport. I would encourage all colleagues to join the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, meet players and fans at our regular meetings, and find out more about the great work being done in our sport at the grassroots level.”
The RFL’s Sky Try Programme Manager, Tracy Power, added: “Our campaign of activities is focused on supporting and developing grassroots participation in rugby league. We are aiming to help 700,000 more children and young people have fun, get active, grow in confidence, and enjoy rugby league. The Sky Try programme is changing the future of our sport by providing children with a high quality introduction to the game, helping them to enjoy more opportunities to play in schools, festivals and local clubs and to become the rugby league players, volunteers and fans of the future. We are grateful for the support of local MPs across the country as we work hard to grow our game.”