Preston North End Community and Education Trust has delivered a rugby league festival at UCLan Sports Arena as interest continues to grow in the sport ahead of the Rugby League World Cup in England this October.
The Trust's rugby league programme is delivered by Rugby League Development Officer Ryan Allen as part of PNECET's work alongside Preston City Council, the University of Central Lancashire and the Rugby Football League to build participation and interest in rugby league ahead of the showpiece tournament being held in England later this year.
The Wales National Team will have their training base at UCLan Sports Arena, while several tournament matches will be played across North West England.
Alston Lane Catholic Primary School and Brabins Endowed Primary School are among several primary schools in Preston to have benefitted from the Trust’s rugby league delivery within their PE lessons, as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme, which combines the power and appeal of football as a whole, with cross-curricular learning to inspire primary school children.
Pupils who have accessed the programme through the Trust’s Primary Stars programme have learned basic rugby league skills and the rules of the game to now bring them to the stage of being able to play a game, while also upskilling teachers’ delivery of rugby league in PE from schools who have enrolled on the programme.
Rugby League Development Officer Ryan Allen said: “We have brought two schools down to take part in a rugby league festival.
“They have been having rugby league delivered by myself in school, learning all the different skills and rules of the game. We have brought them down today out of school to have some rugby league games.
“Pupils have been learning skills such as passing, catching, scoring tries, the rules of the game.
“The Wales National Team is going to be based at UCLan Sports Arena so we are trying to grow participation in the game across different age groups around the city.”
The rugby league offer will continue to grow as the tournament edges closer later in the year with further rugby league sessions being planned for people of all ages and backgrounds across the Preston community.
“We want to keep this going with schools getting rugby league delivery year in, year out, maybe some out of school clubs can form and we can hold different events and competitions in Preston in the future.
“We’ve worked in a lot of primary schools, but we want to work in high schools, colleges, put some out-of-school clubs on to practise rugby league, and some sessions for adults as well, to get lots of different people involved in rugby league.”
For more information about the Trust’s rugby league offer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.