Ahead of its third season, Brighton & Hove Rugby League have signed a formal partnership with Sport Brighton, the sports department for the University of Brighton.
The Brighton Panthers, which boasts a Rugby League team competing in the South East BUCS league, covers all sport at the university of Brighton – from their recreational Parklife programme all the way through to their performance teams and scholarship athletes.
The partnership focuses on three core areas:
- BHRL to base itself at the University of Brighton Falmer Campus
- Development of Men’s and Women’s Rugby League at the university
- A joint community outreach programme in local schools
Phil Ward, Chair of Brighton & Hove Rugby League said “We’re really excited for this partnership with the University of Brighton. Over the past year we have already been working on an informal basis with the Men’s BUCS team and we’ve seen great transition into our club.
“This is a great chance to formalise this relationship, secure a home venue for our club as well as develop the university team and our community engagement offer. We hope this will give more people the opportunity to get involved in Rugby League and start to create a pathway in the city and wider county, not only for players, but coaches, match officials and volunteers too.”
Barry Squires, Head of Sport for the University, said “We are really pleased to be working closely with Brighton & Hove Rugby League Club in jointly enhancing the provision and access to rugby league for our students and within the local region. Of particular focus is our commitment to develop a women’s student rugby league programme that will also support the creation of a new joint local women’s adult team. Once up and running, our students will be upskilled with support from the club to deliver outreach and rugby league engagement sessions within schools to grow the games profile.
“Our sports development team have worked to get this new partnership across the line and today’s announcement of the SLA being signed is great news for all involved.”
The partnership will kick off in the next few weeks as the club helps the university to set up a four-week women’s rugby league programme, culminating in a Southern Universities 9s tournament.