Leeds Rhinos Foundation launch new Rugby League Development Plan for 2023-27

Leeds Rhinos Foundation outlined its new Rugby League Development Plan for Leeds to an audience of representatives from the community game at Headingley Stadium last month.

The charity’s Rugby League Development Plan was initially launched in 2012 with a vision to support the community game, improve standards, create opportunities for people to get involved in the sport as well as celebrating the heritage of the game.

Following the success of that initiative, Leeds Rhinos Foundation has now launched its new five year plan to help grow the game.  After feedback from clubs and schools a new plan has been but in place with eight key focus areas.

  • Growing the game
  • Creating a game for all
  • Coach Education
  • Increased engagement
  • Player Retention
  • Growing the Women’s and Girls game
  • Improving environment and standards
  • Remembering the past

The night saw speakers from across the Rhinos talk about their own experiences in the game, including Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan, former Rhinos Wheelchair captain and current coach James Simpson and Leeds Rhinos Women’s Head Coach Lois Forsell, who talked about her journey in the game as well as her vision to grow the game in her job as the charity’s Women and Girls Development Officer.  The RFL’s Director of Operations and Legal, Robert Hicks was another guest speak who gave an insight into his role.

Darren Higgins, Rugby League Development Manager at Leeds Rhinos Foundation, spoke about the overall vision of the plan and the new projects that will be delivered, including an Excel Coach Development programme led by Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith, as well smaller workshops focusing on the needs of clubs.

Details were given about how the charity can support clubs using the expertise of their staff, such as nutritional advice from Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Health Improvement Officer, Amy Livingstone and how they will encourage more young people to play.

Guests heard from Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Development and Standards Officer Helen Schofield and Community Clubs Development Officer Sam Horner, who spoke about the support the charity can offer to community clubs in regards to player retention and recruitment through taster sessions and their Rhinos Talent Pathway Programme along with CPD opportunities for club volunteers and coaches

Watch this video from the night to learn more.