Leeds Rhinos Foundation helping to set up more junior teams around the city through partnership with Sky Try
8 April 2016, 4:59
By Dan Phillis
Leeds Rhinos Foundation in partnership with Sky Try have been helping to set up more junior teams across Leeds with taster sessions being delivered to clubs at all four corners of the city, seeing 30 new players join the North Leeds Leopards at a session last month.
The multi-million pound Sky Try project, which supports Rugby League Foundation's throughout the game, was launched in February 2014 with the aim to empower Rugby League clubs' charitable Foundations across the country to make a difference by delivering new opportunities to play, watch and become involved in the sport.
Sky Try funding has helped Leeds Rhinos' official charity deliver coaching blocks to schools across the city providing a link with local community clubs, where the Foundation run taster sessions following four weeks of coaching in the school surrounding areas to set up new under 7s teams and the next generation of players coming through at grassroots level.
Community Manager Leon Crick commented on the programme:
"Our team of four RL development officers do an amazing job delivering fun and engaging sessions in schools which always lead to a taster session at a local cub. Our most recent event, delivered at North Leeds Leopards saw 30 children new to the sport attend the session, which has helped to create a new team at the club.
Leeds Rhinos Foundation started working at the under 7s age group in 2012 when only three local clubs incorporated an under 7s team, but over the past three years have helped create 16 under 7s teams at local community clubs with the aim to have 24 clubs with and under 7's team by September 2016.
"We moved our schools' delivery from Year 6 to Year 2 around three years ago, to give us the best opportunity of inspiring children at a young age to take up Rugby League, said Crick.
"Staff then continue to support the clubs through coach development and education, along with regular visits to sessions to see how things are going and if we can offer any other support.
"The whole project is going great and the support of Sky Try has enabled us to employ four dedicated RL officers who deliver around 60 sessions per week in schools across Leeds, all aiming to get more kids involved in the sport."
By joining clubs in the Leeds Rhinos Foundation Ambassador Scheme, young players are also able to benefit from the opportunities to take part in Rhinos match days as player escorts and play at half time, a benefit some of the new North Leeds Leopards players enjoyed last month in the fixture against Hull KR.
To see the Leeds Rhinos Foundation's Sky Try programme in action, watch the video of the North Leeds Leopards Sky Try Taster Session below: