Grant awards of up to £500 have been made available to local rugby league clubs by St Helens Borough Council to kickstart participation at junior level.
The Kickstart grants, made up from Rugby League World Cup 2021 Legacy Funding, can be used by clubs to purchase the necessary equipment to enable youngsters in Under 7s and below age groups to play the much-loved sport in a Covid-safe way.
As part of its role as a host venue at the Rugby League World Cup, St Helens Borough Council committed to match fund £500,000 to a ‘Createdby’ RLWC2021 legacy funding pot to deliver at least one project at each of the 11 amateur clubs in St Helens borough.
To date, Blackbrook Royals, Clock Face Miners, Thatto Heath Crusaders, Haresfinch and Haydock amateur clubs have been successful with Kickstart applications – announced at a St Helens Community Development Foundation Rugby meeting earlier this year – with more than £2,200 paid out so far.
Commenting on how much of a difference the grant – used to buy playing kit and equipment for the new Blackbrook Munchkins team – will make to their club, Paul Levick, Chair of Blackbrook Royals, said:
“Not only has this initiative given children in the area the opportunity to engage in physical exercise, it has the potential to produce future players and help to sustain the sport in St Helens for years to come. This funding, like any financial support, is very much appreciated by all at Blackbrook Royals JRLFC.”
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said:
“By allocating this money, we’re pledging to support local rugby league teams to help influence the next generation of rugby league stars in a borough where rugby is more than just a game – it’s a way of life.
“If your club is in a position to start or commence with young players to help them become fit and active while encouraging them to get involved as the Rugby League World Cup – which will be a truly transformational event for the sport of amateur rugby league – comes to our borough later this year, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and an application form.”