About The Foundation – I’m going to shamelessly pinch this from the dinner leaflet, I hope to visit the Foundation in person to earn more about their work very soon.
The London Rugby League Foundation is a charitable trust established in 2015 from the embers of the Harlequins/London Broncos Foundation. It was established to increase participation and engagement in rugby league in London and surrounding counties. The Foundation aims to grow the rugby league community on London by delivering fantastic sporting experiences, pathways to excel and opportunities to improve health, lifestyle and skills.
The primary aim of the Foundation is to increase participation in rugby league, but in doing so to drive physical and mental wellbeing, individual development and to support social cohesion in the communities they work in.
In 2016 the Foundation worked with 18 community clubs and delivered high quality coaching to over 5000 children in over 100 primary and secondary schools in and around Greater London. The Foundation also aims to provide long term employment opportunities for young Londoners and in 2016 launched an apprenticeship programme, employing 2 young Londoners as apprentice coaches.
This is a sporting organisation looking to build this game outside of the traditional M62 corridor as well as changing lives through the medium of sport, this was a dinner I was happy to attend. It was held at The Common Room, within the Law Society. This was an area I’d never been to, the building is in Chancery Lane but my Google Map took me to the back of the building, which was a nuisance, but allowed me to see a stunning building behind the one I was heading to, I’ll have to venture back in the daylight to see the area better.
I was pleased to realise I knew a fair few people and wasn’t going to be billy no mates for the evening, Steve and Gareth were there from Southend Spartans (yes there is rugby league in Essex) Mick from North Herts Crusaders, Ken Edwards a Southern Rugby League referee and a table of London Skolars people, a club which does immense work in spreading the rugby league word.
The meal was very tasty, it was quite amusing seeing these rugby types eating nouveau cuisine, we were in a way lucky to have 2 missing from our table which gave a little more sustenance to those in need.
The ‘main course’ for the evening was a ‘Clash of Heads’ with Neil (Razor) Ruddock from the world of football, John Noble from rugby league and John Bentley a legend of both codes of rugby.
Questions were taken from the ‘audience’ and the 3 were highly entertaining, if Razor’s language was on the ‘fruity’ side. I confess I hadn’t known John Bentley was a serving Police Officer when he swapped codes to play for Leeds RL. He gave a taste of what that was like, I can only imagine, he would definitely have needed to be the star player he was to survive.
The evening was very enjoyable and hopefully raised funds for a great cause, I look forward to learning more about the Foundation.
It was also a chance to remind those present of the upcoming 4 Nations tournament, involving England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. The tickets are very well priced with the fixtures as follows:
- Friday 28 October: Australia v Scotland – Lightstream Stadium, Hull
- Saturday 29 October: England v New Zealand – John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
- Saturday 5 November: Double Header England v Scotland & New Zealand v Australia – Ricoh Arena, Coventry
- Friday 11 November: New Zealand v Scotland – Zebra Claims Stadium, Workington
- Sunday 13 November: England v Australia – London Stadium, Stratford
- Sunday 20 November: Four Nations Final – Anfield, Liverpool
I’m a big fan of this game and am looking forward to the tournament, if you haven’t seen live rugby league this is your chance! Give it a go, you won’t regret it.