As community rugby league continues to make a comeback after the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic last year, Leeds Rhinos Foundation is celebrating a record-breaking start to the year for their Sky Try delivery which has seen thousands of school children from across the city given a chance to experience playing the sport and join their local community club.
In total, more than 2,200 school children in Years 1-4 throughout Leeds have received Sky Try delivery from Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Rugby League Development team since the schools came out of lockdown restrictions in March.
This has been supplemented by the charity hosting free rugby league taster sessions with 15 Ambassador clubs for their Under 7s-Under 9s teams, as well as a further 10 specific Girls Rugby League taster sessions, to give all aspiring players the chance to experience playing outside their school and become part of a team at their local team.
Across all of the Sky Try taster sessions that have taken place so far in 2021, a total of 575 junior players have received high quality coaching from Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Rugby League Development Officers at a community club.
This programme, which is a key part of the Foundation’s Rugby League Development Plan, has led to 255 brand new players joining their local club following a taster session, as well as a further 53 new additions to Girls’ teams, as the charity continue their hard work to ensure there are more playing opportunities and an increasing number of participants at all levels of the junior game.
Check out the video below to see some of the action from when we hosted our Sky Try taster session with Farnley Falcons earlier this month:
Sam Horner, Community Clubs Development Officer, said: “The Sky Try delivery, we do and in particular the taster sessions, is so important because they help us to grow and support our Ambassador clubs throughout the year.
“It’s like a pyramid, the game is wider at the bottom than at the top and in order to make sure we unlock the next Kevin Sinfield or Jamie Jones-Buchanan we need to be out there coaching and pushing them up through the age groups.
“The most important age groups most of the team are the youngest age groups because they’re your bloodline in any club and where you can really get kids interested in playing the sport for life, so having Sky Try sessions with the Under 7s, 8s and 9s teams is massively important to clubs for their sustained growth.”
Speaking about her son’s Sky Try experience, a parent at Stanningley said: “My boy hasn’t stopped talking about the sessions since you started and is a lot more confident. He’s loved having this opportunity and now he really wants to continue playing rugby league outside of school.”
For more information about Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Sky Try rugby league programme, or any of our future taster sessions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.