Celebrating the impact of Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund

Leeds Rhinos Foundation is today celebrating the impact of the Tackling Inequalities Fund, which it was awarded to support communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic and reduce the widening inequalities in sport and physical activity.

The Tackling Inequalities Fund (TIF) was set up in April 2020 as part of Sport England’s support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

From the insight Sport England were gathering, it quickly became clear that certain groups of people were being disproportionately affected by the pandemic and it was significantly impacting their ability to be physically active. These groups being:

  • Lower socio-economic groups
  • People who are ethnically and culturally diverse
  • Disabled people
  • People with long-term health conditions.

The award of this funding to Leeds Rhinos Foundation has meant that, despite the disruption and challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, our Development Officers have been able to extend their work within these under-represented community groups to ensure we continue to tackle these existing inequalities- making rugby league a diverse, inclusive game which can be enjoyed by all.

Alongside the Women and Girls’ Rugby League programme, the funding has also directly supported the running of our Leeds Rhinos Physical Disability and Learning Disability Rugby League teams, all of which act as key components in the Foundation’s Rugby League Development Plan and provide unique opportunities for more people across the city to be engaged and active.

With sessions unable to run as normal during lockdown, we were also enabled to stay connected with our participants with a view to keeping them active during the early recovery stages, before providing the facilities, equipment and staffing required to get these back and up running and encourage their return to physical activity post-lockdown.

Gareth Cook, Head of Community and Engagement for Leeds Rhinos Foundation said: “Our charity is delighted to be a recipient of the Tackling Inequalities Fund. We are extremely proud of our diverse rugby league offer to try meet the needs of all those that want to access our great game, whilst helping to change the lives of the people we work with by harnessing the power of sport.

“The Women and Girls’ game is ever growing and both Physical and Learning Disability Rugby League formats are going from strength to strength each year, each providing more opportunities for people to get involved with rugby league and fulfil their sporting potential. The funding offers vital support with facilities, kit, volunteers and upskilling coaches to help us continue providing this service as part of our Rugby League Development Plan.

To learn more about the Tackling Inequalities Fund, please visit https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/together-fund.

Click on the video below to find out more about the story of the Tackling Inequalities Fund so far and the impact this has had for organisations across the country: