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Rugby League family supporting the sport’s elderly heroes

Rugby League Cares is teaming up with Betfred Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs to help combat the issues faced by retired players during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has advised all people aged 70 and over to avoid social contact for 12 weeks, raising the prospect that some former players and their families could be left feeling isolated and lonely.

To support the game’s elderly heroes, RL Cares is working alongside the RFL and club foundation staff to recruit a team of dedicated volunteers who can reach out to vulnerable past players in their local communities.

The volunteers will be drawn predominantly from foundation and club staff, many of whom have already undergone the required training and safety checks needed to work with vulnerable people.

Former players and members of the public are being asked to contact RL Cares to let the charity know of any individual who might need support at this difficult time.

Once we have been informed, RL Cares will liaise with clubs to identify a suitable volunteer ‘buddy’ who will then make contact with the former player to offer the help they need: this might be doing shopping for essential supplies, arranging medical support or simply opening up regular lines of communication.

The past players’ support programme is being led for RL Cares by Francis Stephenson, the former Wakefield, London and Wigan prop, alongside the charity’s Transition Manager, Steve McCormack.

“This is an incredibly challenging time for all of us but is especially difficult for the elderly within our communities,” said Stephenson.

“As a charity we are well-placed to coordinate and deliver the support that the more senior members of the Rugby League family require to them through this.

“Some people might want their shopping doing, other may just need to hear a friendly voice on the end of the telephone. Whatever our past players need, we want them to know that the sport is here for them.”

RFL Chief Executive Ralph Rimmer said: “This is a typically thoughtful initiative from Rugby League Cares, and one which I’m sure the whole game will welcome and support. Challenging times bring the best out of our Rugby League community, and there have been many examples of that in the current unprecedented situation that has arisen in our 125th year as a sport. So many of our players have been unsung heroes, and it is reassuring to know that RL Cares are there to offer support if and when required.”

If you are a retired player who requires assistance, or are a member of the public who is aware of one of the sport’s heroes who may be struggling, please contact Rugby League Cares – details below. All contact will be treated with strictest confidence.

Email: info@rlcares.org.uk (mailto:info@rlcares.org.uk)

Twitter: @RLCares

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RugbyLeagueCares/ Phone: Chris Rostron, Head of RL Cares: 07917 282322

Francis Stephenson and Steve McCormack are both available for interview: please contact John Ledger at RL Cares for more details.

John Ledger Communications Manager 07762 967325



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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.

Download Application Form

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