RL Cares RLWC2013 Column wc 23rd November
This week’s Rugby League Cares World Cup column looks at how RL Cares works with the professional clubs to support the fantastic work going on in local communities, which reaches around 600,000 people annually.
Each professional club has a ‘Foundation’ - a charity or community programme, which works across their local area and aims to; encourage more people to play sport and have a healthy lifestyle; inspire educational achievement, and target hard to reach young people, for example those who may be engaged in anti-social behavior, and offer positive alternatives using the power of Rugby League and sport in general.
RL Cares supports these organisations centrally and has developed a number of high profile national campaigns with partners like Sport Relief, who provide funding to support the foundations deliver a mental health and wellbeing service to their local community in complement to the work of State of Mind. Another example is the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, who have provided funding to support a dance legacy project starting after the RLWC. Most recently RL Cares ran the Founders Walk, where Foundations have raised funds for their local programmes, for example Widnes Valhalla Foundation raised just short of £1500 on their leg of the Founders Walk.
Clubs use the power of Super League stars to support their work and coordinate player appearances in the local community. Rugby League has always been rooted in its local areas and is a sport where the community can still reach out and touch its stars, with players visiting schools, rugby league clubs and hospitals. Leading up to the Christmas holidays the foundations and the clubs players will often visit their local hospitals to meet children on the wards and bring some festive cheer. Leeds Rhinos, this year’s winners of the Foundation of the Year Award at the Man of Steel dinner calculated that their players have made a massive 500 plus player appearances in 2013.
RL Cares also acts as a central umbrella organisation for all the foundations, providing a range of support, including good governance practise and convening a series of meetings throughout the year where the charities come together to share ideas and work in the most effective way across the game.
Sport has a unique power for positive impact and can help to change lives - RL Cares is proud to be working with clubs across the game so Rugby League can make a real difference locally.
In a partnership with League Weekly each week during RLWC2013 there will be a feature on the different work of Rugby League Cares – and profits from the new online edition will be shared with the charity. The new digital edition of League Weekly is available athttp://www.pocketmags.com/viewmagazine.aspx?titleid=1950&title=League+Weekly