Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and Wigan Warriors Community Foundation are joining forces to add an exciting rugby league element to our sports delivery in local schools.
The joint agreement between the two club charities will develop and increase the presence of both organisations throughout all localities of Lancashire by providing opportunities to access rugby league school provision, holiday and match day activities, healthy recreation and wellbeing improvement programmes.
A new Lancashire rugby league development officer is set to be appointed to help both organisations of achieving their aim of offering new sporting opportunities to local youngsters in Blackburn with Darwen and surrounding boroughs where latent rugby league potential exists.
Our Premier League Primary Stars partner schools will benefit from an increased level of rugby skill sessions being incorporated into their PE timetables, while high school children in the 11 to 14 age bracket will be given increased access to chance to play the open and attractive 9s format of the game ahead of the inaugural Rugby League World Cup 9s that take place this autumn in Australia.
There will also be the chance to add rugby league elements to our holiday camps at various locations to increase ball skills and awareness of all kinds, with a longer term aim of taking the added interest in the game and turning it into an opportunity to form a new grassroots rugby league club in this area of Lancashire.
Gary Robinson, chief executive officer of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, is keen to unleash the potential of the partnership, explaining: "This is a wonderful chance for our charity to offer a new opportunity to local children, as there are bound to be a number of youngsters who have the talent to become rugby league players, but don't currently have access to many opportunities on their doorstep.
"By working hand-in-hand with Wigan Warriors Community Foundation, we're bringing together the expertise of two of the region's biggest sporting charities in an arrangement that will have multiple benefits for thousands of young people in our wider catchment areas.
"There can be no better partner to help us bring rugby league to East Lancashire than the reigning Super League champions and we can't wait to potentially launch a new club in our borough to provide the start of a pathway for young players who find that they enjoy the challenge of a sport that's ready to make a big impression on our local area."
Wigan Warriors Community Foundation's head of community, Mike Wearden, shared similar sentiments about the aspirations of the arrangements, adding: “We are thrilled to announce the partnership with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and we’re extremely excited to see the redevelopment of rugby league across Lancashire.
“Blackburn Rovers Community Trust share many of the values that we do here at the Warriors and it’s a fantastic opportunity for both organisations to share experience and resources in making a real impact to young people’s lives across the Lancashire region.”
The partnership's first responsibility will be the recruitment of a new role which will oversee the development of rugby league across Lancashire and service the relationship between both organisations.
To find out more about the role, please click here.
Wigan Warriors Community Foundation and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are the respective charities of north west based professional sports clubs Wigan Warriors and Blackburn Rovers.
Both organisations use the power of sport to make a positive difference to people’s lives, working across many areas of the north west delivering a wide range of programmes from sports coaching and education programmes through to projects that improve health, wellbeing and improving the career prospects of young people and adults.