ALL local rugby league groups which attended Oldham RLFC’s invitation to the first ‘Partners’ meeting this week hailed it as a massive success in terms of improving the game locally across all levels.
The view is that, as a collective, Oldham RLFC, Rugby Oldham (Supporters Trust), YEDS (the new Roughyeds Supporters Group), the (Past) Players Assn, the Oldham RL Heritage Trust, the Oldham Amateur League and Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council would potentially achieve much more by working together and providing a united front.
All the different groups supported that basic principle, including Oldham Council, whose top official, chief executive Harry Catherall, was present at the meeting.
Roughyeds were represented by chairman Chris Hamilton and vice-chairman John Roddy, who said Roughyeds now had a “unique” opportunity to bring the local rugby league community together for mutual benefit.
Chris Hamilton said he was thrilled by the appearance of the Council’s chief executive which, in itself, was an indication of the local authority’s interest in playing an active role in the future of the sport in Oldham.
“We were delighted to host the first meeting of the ‘Partners’ Group. The common denominator is we all want to see Oldham Rugby prosper.
“A thriving professional team is the catalyst for so many things that follow on from that, as reflected in the diversity of the partners.
“It was also encouraging to have with us Oldham Council’s chief executive Harry Catherall, who clearly demonstrated an understanding of the importance of Rugby League to the town of Oldham.”
Also present were Mike Kivlin (chairman) and Ian Wilson (secretary) of Rugby Oldham; Phil Bradbury of the Oldham Amateur League; Mike Turner of the Oldham RL Heritage Trust, Jamie Hollingworth of YEDS, the new supporters' group, Joe Warburton of the (Past) Players' Assn, former player Adrian Alexander (a club ambassador), his wife Ginny (former Mayor of Oldham and current Oldham Councillor) and Roger Halstead, the Roughyeds media manager and a writer and reporter on rugby league at all levels in Oldham for 57 years.
It was decided to meet on a regular basis in working together for the benefit of rugby league at all levels in Oldham, the general view being that here was an opportunity to show pride in the sport, pride in the town and pride in the town’s rugby league heritage and history.
We are all in this together . . . standing up for OLDHAM, our town, your town!