The Rugby Football League has formed a partnership with St. Benedict’s, part of the Whitehaven Campus, to create a hub for Rugby League within Cumbria.
The facilities are currently used by Cumberland Rugby League Referee Society, as well as West Cumbria Masters for training, alongside community clubs, Lowca, Kells, Wath Brow and Hensingham, however the Rugby Football League has plans to extend usage to player development days, and coach education amongst other Rugby League activity within West Cumbria.
“Campus Whitehaven is a £33million investment from a range of partners including Copeland Community Fund, and Cumbria County Council, are delighted to be working in collaboration with the RFL” said Sam French, Campus Community Development Manager. “Initiatives such as Rugby League and football, underpin the very community of the Copeland and surrounding area.
We already have a large number of community clubs, making use of our facilities and utilising them to their absolute potential, making it a fantastic opportunity not just for students of the respective schools, but their local area as well.
Longer term, the Campus looks forward to these facilities being used not just during conventional season, but off season too. To that end, we intend to collaborate with the RFL, to run player development days in the holidays (half term, Easter and summer) as well as representative Rugby League events for Cumbria, aimed for both junior and senior”.
Speaking on the new partnership, St. Benedict’s High School, PE Subject Leader, Lisa Powe said “I am looking forward to working more closely with the Rugby Football League going forward.
The partnership will be extremely beneficial to not only our students here at St Benedict’s, but also the wider community.”
The RFL’s Director of Participation and Development, Marc Lovering said: “Our new partnership with St. Benedict’s allows us to create a hub for Cumbrian Rugby League, giving us a real opportunity to develop and invest in the region.
The high-quality facilities at St. Benedict’s, including an international sized 3G pitch, provide us with a consistent location to host a wide range of education and development opportunities, as well as playing or training opportunities for the wider community game.
I think that the launch of the partnership, can only strengthen the position of Rugby League within Cumbria, and help us to boost both the growth of the game and retention of more players within the region.”
Cumbrian Rugby League season will kick off in March. The Cumberland Amateur Rugby League (CARL) begins on Saturday 2nd March, with West Cumbria Youth and Junior Leagues beginning on Sunday 10th March.