Brighton and Hove Rugby League (BHRL) launched their secondary schools programme today with their first coached session at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA).
As part of a long-term initiative to introduce the sport of Rugby League to young players across the city, the club is making coaching sessions available to local schools to build up teams to play a tournament in the build up to the Rugby League World Cup.
Coaching the session was BHRL senior player, Eryk Wisniewski. “It was great to take the session today – I was really nervous because it was my first proper session! The players were great though, there was some real talent and I’m looking forward to seeing how these guys develop over the next term.”
The club launched last year in 2021, driven by the excitement of the Rugby League World Cup in England, which was later postponed until October 2022 but for club Chair Phil Ward, it represented an exciting opportunity. “As a fan, the World Cup being postponed was a massive shame, but as a club, it’s been good in a way. The delay has given us a chance to launch a bit of a schools programme – we helped run a year 6 tag festival last month and now we’re hopefully starting to develop a partnership with BACA which will help them to develop Rugby League in their school as the first steps of our programme.”
Ward added “Our goal over the next few months is to introduce Rugby League to a few more schools and start building towards a proper tournament around RLWC time. Sustainability has always been part of our core vision – if we can get a number of schools interested then they’re able to play each other and that will only increase the interest. We’re always on the lookout for schools who are keen to take up the sport – there are some fantastic educational resources on the RLWC website, things like lesson plans and schemes of work that make it really easy for teachers to deliver Rugby League either in-curriculum or as an after school club. As we grow our capacity as a club, we’ll eventually be able to support more schools directly.”
If you work for a school – or know a school that might be interested – and want to find out more about our schools programme and what support you might be able to access, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.