Today will see the first of a series of high school festivals as Manchester Rangers, Mancunians RL and Salford Red Devils team up to showcase community rugby league at the Hough End Centre, Manchester. The 17th of March festival will see year 7 boys from 8+ high schools from across the city take the field.
Teams competing at the festivals have come from 2 main sources. Firstly the highly popular Sky Try programme, delivered in conjunction with Salford Red Devils and Manchester Rangers, has introduced many Manchester born youngsters to the sport for the first time. Similarly, a number of the schools involved have been part of successful community programme run by Mancunians RL in association with Sport England.
After the round robin event is completed, the top 2 schools will then be invited to play in a Champion’s League event featuring the top 2 school teams from Salford, Trafford and Bury. The schools will then play off to find out who is the best. The winner of the Year 8 festival scheduled for 28th April will have the added incentive of representing Manchester in the National Finals taking place in London over the Challenge Cup Final weekend.
The festivals represent a major step forward in community rugby league in the Manchester area, and RFL Club and Competition manager Marc Lovering is delighted with the progress being made;
“It’s really important that clubs invest back into their communities and the work being done by the Red Devils, Rangers and Mancunians, alongside Sky Try and Sport England is crucial to developing the game of rugby league in the region.”
Coming up soon the year 8 and 9 editions of the festivals will take place at Manchester Rangers Belle Vue home, and for Lovering are fantastic examples of can be achieved from community partnerships;
“These lads have come through the community programmes being run by the local clubs, and these festivals will a great opportunity to see the talent that Manchester has to offer, which is the future of the sport.”
For more information on how to get involved in RL in Manchester please call a member of the SRDF team on 0161 7861591