Council reveals plan to increase participation in Rugby League ahead of World Cup coming to Doncaster in 2021

A new post is being set up to grow the game of rugby league in anticipation of the World Cup coming to Doncaster.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 06 August, 2019, 12:59
Ray Green, Doncaster Rugby League Club, Lorna Reeve, Visit Doncaster, Marie Hepburn, Club Doncaster, Stewart Piper, Doncaster Rugby League Club president, Chris Dungworth, Business Doncaster and Ben Lewis, Club Doncaster, pictured celebrating after the borough was chosen as a host venue at the Keepmoat Stadium. Picture: Marie Caley/Doncaster Free Press

The council has provided nearly £60,000 in grant funding to Doncaster Rugby League Club to appoint a RLWC2021 legacy officer on a fixed two-year contract.

The local authority is expecting the club will sustain the post after the world cup finishes.

It’s hoped the legacy officer will be at the forefront of growing the game and participation in both children and adults in the sport across Doncaster prior to the Rugby League World Cup 2021 coming to the Keepmoat Stadium in October.

The town will host three group games at the 15,000 plus ground.

The post shall also align alongside the Get Doncaster Moving strategy which aims to cut obesity rates by improving the amount of exercise people do.

Inactive people, residents on low incomes, disabled people and those with a long-term limiting illness will be specifically targeted.

The new legacy officer will also focus on the communities of Balby, Bentley, Conisbrough, Denaby, Mexborough, Moorends, Stainforth and, Wheatley.

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Plans also working with at least 16 schools in the run up to the world cup by providing support as each school adopts a participating nation.

Each school will learned about the adopted nation’s culture, geography, lifestyle, language, history which will be incorporated into the curriculum.

The wider plans will also include a series of dance and cultural activities that the school will perform at the RLWC2021 fixtures being held at the Keepmoat Stadium.

This follows on from the 2013 World Cup where Doncaster school children performed the haka for the New Zealand team who were based in the town fr the tournament.

Doncaster Council public health officer Dean Wiffen said: “The RLWC2021 Legacy Officer is required to ensure a true legacy is left post the RLWC2021 within our communities.

“The post will also endeavour to increase participation in rugby league within young people and adults and offer an increase in the number opportunities available within Doncaster.

“If this post wasn’t created, engagement within the schools would be very limited as there would be no dedicated officer to coordinate this work.”