John Whaling elected RFL President
John Whaling was elected President of the RFL at the Annual General Meeting of the RFL Council at Bramall Lane on Wednesday.
Whaling, a director of Sheffield Eagles, succeeds Bev Risman after serving as Vice President for the last 12 months and hopes his Presidency will help continue the resurgence in South Yorkshire Rugby League.
John Whaling said: “The challenge for all of us is spreading the word and widening the appeal of Rugby League and this is something which the Championships Review will hopefully help with.
“There are lots of pockets of interest in Rugby League all around the country where people are very passionate about the sport.
“In Scarborough, for example, there is real enthusiasm about the Scarborough Pirates who I have a real affinity for after watching a number of their games in the summer conference and there are lots of areas like this where Rugby League is ready to burst out.
“One of the areas where I want to spread the word about Rugby League is South Yorkshire.
“Doncaster and Sheffield Eagles have enjoyed varying success over the last few years and we really need to increase the crowds and engage with more spectators in the region.
“I’m also looking forward to continuing the fantastic work which Bev Risman has done with Rugby League charities over the last 12 months which has really raised their profile within the game.
“Serving as Vice-President for the last year, working with Bev and attending a number of Finals in an ambassadorial role has been a good learning curve.”
John Whaling has served on the board at Sheffield Eagles for 12 years and was involved in rebuilding the club following the club’s rebirth in 1999.
He will serve as RFL President until the RFL council’s next AGM in 2012.
RFL Chairman Richard Lewis said: “We congratulate John on his appointment, he has a vast wealth of experience in the sport and having served as Vice-President for the last year we will enjoy a smooth transition.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing President Bev Risman for his service for the last year in which he has travelled all over the country to represent the RFL and promote the sport.”