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Covid 19 Forces Cancellation of Womens Competitions

The RFL has announced new training sessions and local friendlies as ways of maintaining momentum in Women’s Rugby League following the decisions not to restart the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup and to cancel the Betfred Women’s Super League competition in 2020.

Marc Lovering, Participation and Development Director at the RFL says:

“The cancellation of the competitions is a huge sadness for the players, coaches, volunteers and all of us committed to the continued growth of Women’s Rugby League, after such high hopes for a best-ever season.

“We have explored every possible option for the competitions. We have been in close dialogue with clubs and foundations throughout the interruption caused by the Covid-19 situation.

“The complex work needed with Government and other partners to build return-to-play strategies in contact sports has meant that full contact Rugby League, with rule adaptions, is only likely to return in October – and then only in the form of local friendlies with limited travel. We are therefore timed out of delivering these prestigious competitions safely and with integrity.

“Together our focus is on group training activities at clubs leading to the October friendlies and, for the players in the Performance squads, dedicated England training sessions and a programme of support for players and coaches ahead of the start of next season and the World Cup year.

“We will continue to support clubs with training and player recruitment resources. We also remain very grateful to our sponsors at a national and club level for the support they have continued to show Women’s Rugby League in this challenging and unprecedented time.

“We hope the whole sport shows its support for the Women’s friendly fixtures in October, and for the England Performance Squads as they step up their training at this crucial time.”

England Performance Training sessions Sessions for the England Senior Women and new England Knights squads will take place across September and October at bases in Yorkshire and in Lancashire, led by the England Performance Unit (EPU), Head Coach Craig Richards, and National Women’s and Girls’ Talent Manager Stuart Barrow.

Throughout the lockdown period elite players have received support from Craig Richards and the EPU – this will continue to ramp up with further support and resources to these players and their club coaches.

Friendly fixtures Under the RFL Return to Play Guidance, all women’s teams have the opportunity to play friendly fixtures in October and a large number have already indicated their plans to do so to the RFL. Clubs will be supported by the RFL Development Team to link these activities to player recruitment for season 2021.

Mental wellbeing support

Rugby League Cares and partners, including Sporting Chance, have worked hard to extend support services and resources to female players.

Coach support and peer mentoring Webinars for coaches of Women’s and Girls’ RL will continue, as well as direct support to individuals alongside club visits. The RFL has delivered coaching webinars specifically for women’s and girls' coaches, and offered up a direct link to support them. Club visits are planned and virtual support is already taking place.

Social impact of the growth to date in Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League

A new research project is underway, following the success of the RL Dividend Report, to evidence the wider social impacts of the growth to-date of women’s and girls’ Rugby League. Surveys have been shared with players, coaches, volunteers, and stakeholders across the sport, and a series of interviews and research sessions will take place. The resulting report will highlight the impact of the expansion and increased profile on individuals, clubs, and communities. Everyone involved in, or with an interest in, the impact and continued growth of women’s and Girls’ RL is encouraged to respond. In addition, a Women’s & Girls' Rugby League Fan Survey is now online (www.research.net/r/W_G_Fan_Survey_2020).

2019 was record year for Women’s Rugby League. Title sponsors were achieved for both major competitions; media coverage exceeded all records including the first ever live Sky coverage of the BWSL Grand Final; and England Women made two ground-breaking trips to the Southern Hemisphere to play in the World Nines and then to Papua New Guinea.


Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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