In 2022 Leeds Rhinos Foundation will aim to engage with more people than ever before as they continue to work with other partner organisations, charities and community clubs to help make Leeds a more active and healthier city.
It promises to be an exciting year for Rugby League, culminating in the biggest ever Rugby League World Cup on home soil which will showcase all formats of the game- with Men’s, Women’s, Wheelchair and Physical Disability tournaments all taking place in October and November.
With the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continuing to be felt across the country, the charity will continue to find ways to adapt to the unprecedented challenges and restrictions in play to ensure the health and safety of participants is prioritised at all times.
Let’s take a look at what 2022 should hold for Leeds Rhinos Foundation though and some of the plans set in place for the next 12 months:
RUGBY LEAGUE DEVELOPMENT:
Through the Rugby League Development Plan, sponsored by Mears Group, Leeds Rhinos Foundation are well positioned to encourage children to get active and increase participation in the game by providing more playing opportunities in conjunction with schools and clubs across the city.
Although the Sky Try programme has now come to an end, the Foundation will look to build upon the huge success of this initiative in helping more children to get into the game by rolling out their own programme of Taster Sessions for the charity’s many Ambassador clubs in Leeds who it had benefited hugely by providing new players to their junior teams over the past 5 years.
Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Community Clubs Development Officer Sam Horner is ringfencing a busy schedule of Level 1 + 2 RFL Coaching courses as part of the charity’s successful Coach Education programme, with clubs also looking forward to the return of the showpiece Rhinos Challenge and Ambassador Festivals which have sadly fallen to the pandemic during the last two years.
Schools Rugby will once again receive comprehensive support, with an extensive programme of primary sessions, touch festivals and tournaments across the Leeds and Hunslet Schools network, whilst the Leeds Rhinos Boys and Girls Development Academy squads will continue to serve as the city’s primary avenue of combining rugby league with a first-class Education at post-16 level as they compete in the 2021-22 College RL competitions.
Working in partnership with the England Talent Pathway, Leeds Rhinos Foundation will once again be delivering Player Development Days (starting February half term) in both Leeds and Oldham, where the charity has launched a partnership with Oldham Sixth Form College to help nurture the next generation of talented players in the town. There will also be further opportunities for talented players to test themselves as part of the Rhinos ETP 14+ squads, training and playing against development sides representing other professional clubs during the Spring and Summer periods.
There will also be plenty of action on the pitch, with the Foundation’s full compliment of Leeds Rhinos Disability Rugby League teams competing in the Wheelchair, PDRL and LD Super League competitions.
Now entering its sixth year, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s popular weight management service Try Club will take on a slightly new look, with the first ever Women’s Try Club programme set to launch in early 2022 as well as a tailored course for people with Learning Disabilities developed in partnership with community partners Aspire CBS.
One of the charity’s biggest successes of 2021 came with the Offload programme, and together with Rugby League Cares the charity will continue to roll out courses in venues across the city to help men tackle their mental fitness and provide a safe space for them to come and talk. You can find out more about our plans for Offload in 2022 by clicking HERE, including how it will be made available for businesses and community groups across Leeds to support their workforces.
In addition, the In Touch Dementia support group will continue their monthly meetings at Headingley Stadium with some very special Rhinos guests planned, which is supplemented by the weekly Sporting Memories group, which gives supporters an opportunity to meet with us every Tuesday to talk about sport and enjoy looking at some historic sporting memorabilia over a cuppa!
Making a welcome return in 2022 is the Inspiring Futures project, a joint initiative with the RFL and Youth Endowment Fund designed to prevent at-risk young people from getting caught up in violent crime through skills-based educational work in the classroom, local community and with their families.
Having relaunched in HMP Wealstun in December, the groundbreaking Tackle It project– delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit- will be delivered twice a week over a six-week block of learning, helping to support victim survivors of domestic abuse and help lower re-offending rates by running workshops with those convicted of the crime.
The charity will also run their biggest ever NCS programme in Summer 2022, with over 180 students set to join us for a full three-week programme encapsulating a week’s residential packed full of outdoor activities, social action projects and independent living away from home. This will be followed by another NCS programme in Autumn 2022, aimed at Sixth Form students looking to bolster their CV’s and develop key life skills.
Following on from the Boxing Day Bonanza, Matchday Activities will hopefully make a welcome return to all Leeds Rhinos home games in the 2022 season as junior players enjoy the chance to feature in our half time games, guards of honour and flag parades on the Headingley Stadium pitch.
Run With The Rhinos will return at the 2022 Leeds 10k, with supporters, sponsors and staff once again invited to take part as part of our running or walking teams to help raise vital funds for the charity. More details including entry benefits are set to be announced in the coming weeks.
Having raised over £25,000 for the three charities in December, the Foundation will once again join forces with St George’s Crypt and St Gemma’s Hospice to host the ever-popular ‘Leeds Big Sleep’ which supports the city’s most vulnerable communities and highlights the plight of homeless people in Leeds.
Further fundraising events for the whole family to enjoy, as well as our ever-popular half term Camps, are expected to take place throughout the year, so keep an eye out for more announcements and dates to be confirmed soon!
For more information about any of Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s programmes, how to get involved or how you can support us by volunteering your help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.