Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Chernobyl children will be our flag bearers

SIX Chernobyl children, who are living in Oldham with host families for a month, will be our flag bearers at Sunday’s home game against Keighley Cougars.

Aged between nine and 11, the three boys and three girls arrived in Oldham on May 26 and leave for home on June 22.

We are proud and privileged to invite these children and their host families to Sunday’s game and thus show the club’s support for the work done by the Oldham Link of the national charity Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline.

For more than 30 years this charity has carried out a recuperation programme to bring children from Belarus and North Ukraine to stay with British families for a month.

​The Oldham Link is the local support group for helping children who still suffer the effects of low level radiation from the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986.

Belarus and North Ukraine received a large proportion of the radioactive fall-out which, more than 30 years after it happened, continues to cause serious health problems to those who live there.

The Oldham Link brings children from that area to our borough every year so they can enjoy and benefit from things that we take for granted — uncontaminated food, fresh air, sunshine, exciting trips out, lots of exercise and, most importantly, love and friendship.

Formed 30 years ago by Theresa Novotny, who is still active as the local leader, the Oldham Link not only provides host families but raises funds to pay for air fares, visas, clothing, trips, transport etc and is mindful that there are lots of children over there who are still waiting to come for respite.

One of the local host families, Mark and Mrs Albiston of Lees, say the children who come here for respite are in great need and are truly grateful and deeply appreciative of everything that’s done to help them.

Said Mark:

“Going to a rugby league match, indeed going to any sporting event, will be a new experience for them and they’ll love it, especially carrying the flag out on to the pitch.

“A big thank-you to Oldham RLFC for thinking about us and inviting us to the game.”

The Oldham Link (Chernobyl) will hold a bucket collection at the game on Sunday and we know our fans will be as generous as they can be.

Said club chairman Chris Hamilton:

“The people who work hard for these children do a great job and deserve our support.

“Oldham RLFC is pleased to be able to help .”


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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

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