WITH their former captain Robert Roberts playing the lead role, Oldham RL Club are spreading their community development operation in primary schools beyond the Oldham borough boundary and into Tameside and Stalybridge.
‘Two Bobs’, as he was known in his playing days, has already forged links with St Christopher’s RC Primary in Ashton-under-Lyne and with Silver Springs Primary Academy in Stalybridge.
Having worked regularly with primary schools that fall within the Hathershaw College cluster group over the past 12 months, he will retain that connection while developing similar partnerships with schools that are located within a few miles radius of Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold Stadium, where Roughyeds played their home games in 2016 and will do so again in 2017.
Said Robert: “After February half-term I’ll be devoting a lot of my available time to schools in Tameside.
“The plan is to replicate what we have done with the Hathershaw cluster schools in Oldham and once we are up and running in Tameside we’ll be aiming to have an inter-school tag competition involving teams from both areas.
“It’s looking good, so good that we are discussing the launch of after-school clubs three days a week as we move towards Spring and the evenings get lighter.”
Said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton: “Robert has been doing a great job for us in local schools for several months, and now he is moving into Tameside to continue his development work there.
“It’s a natural progression, given that we are now playing home games at Bower Fold.”
One of the best players Oldham have had since the formation of the ‘new’ club in 1997, ‘Two Bobs’ will also be helping out on the coaching side at League 1 club Hunslet Hawks, but his voluntary assistance at the South Leeds Stadium, not far from where he lives, will not affect his development role at Oldham.
“There’s a big job to be done in Oldham and Tameside schools and I’m really enjoying it,” he added.
Roughyeds fans are reminded that Friday (Dec 23) is the last day to buy 2017 season tickets at current prices, either online at www.roughyeds.co.uk or from 9.30am to 3.30pm at Whitebank.
The club’s Whitebank office will close for the Christmas break at 3.30pm Friday and re-open at 9.30am on Tuesday, January 3.
The club’s first pre-season game is against Swinton Lions at Sale on Sunday, January 8 (3pm kick-off).