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Harrogate and Raiders sessions deliver participation success after launch

The York RLFC Foundation are delighted to announce that over 30 junior players have participated in community sessions with Harrogate Hawks and Raiders Rugby League following the launch of junior rugby league teams in the area earlier this month.

The Foundation began its delivery of free weekly community sessions alongside Harrogate Hawks and Raiders Rugby League at the start of the month, having entered into a partnership with the Rugby Football League (RFL) to grow rugby league in North Yorkshire in February.

Junior rugby league teams had not previously existed in Harrogate or been in place at Selby for a number of years, with the Foundation’s sessions providing vital playing opportunities for young people within the areas.

The sessions are open to both boys and girls across Schools Years Two to Six and aim to provide a fun introduction to the basics of the sport for those at a beginner level.

Alongside Harrogate Hawks, sessions have been delivered at The Jim Saynor Ground, Station View (HG2 7JA) while Raiders Rugby League are based at Riccall Regen Centre, Landing Lane (YO19 6PW). 

Reflecting on the rapid growth of players within Harrogate and Selby, York RLFC Foundation Community Coach Mark Prangnell said: “It has been brilliant to see so many children take part in our community sessions so far and take advantage of junior rugby league coming to Harrogate and Selby.

“We’ve done a lot of work in the Selby area and we’re established in the schools there. There are rugby union and football teams in Selby, but there were no rugby league teams, so we really wanted to bring the sport back to the area.

“At Harrogate, we have also been delivering in schools to get the rugby league message across because it’s predominantly a rugby union and football area.

“Harrogate Hawks have an established open-age team, but no junior teams, so to support them in launching their own junior set-up has been really rewarding.

“Primary rugby league is about stripping things down to the basics and having fun and it’s been so pleasing to be able to deliver that in these two growth areas.

“Not only are we getting kids who we recognise from the schools we’ve been to, we’re also seeing kids that haven’t been in the schools we’ve done sessions at and just want to try rugby league.”

Prangnell added that the early positive signs seen at Harrogate and Raiders show the potential for growth across the North Yorkshire region.

“North Yorkshire is a massive growth area for the sport,” he added.

“In Selby, the problem has been that the junior players who have wanted to play rugby league have had to go out of Selby to find teams to do that.

“We’re delighted to give them the opportunity to come back and play in the area that they’re based in.

“And, for me, Harrogate is an area and territory of untapped potential at a junior level.

“The number of young players that we’ve seen at both Harrogate and Raiders continue to build each week and hopefully we can just continue building and building throughout North Yorkshire.”

New players continue to be welcomed at Harrogate and Raiders alongside any volunteers interested in coaching, first-aid and administration.

“We’re open and welcoming of any new participants, including those who may be taking part in the sport for the first time," said Prangnell.

“We’re also seeking volunteers in areas such as coaching, first aid and logistics to help support the running of these junior rugby league teams.

“If people want to volunteer but may not have the relevant qualifications currently, we can help to put them onto the relevant courses.

"Developing the game in Harrogate and Selby is phase one of our plan to grow the game in North Yorkshire, with plans to extend to other areas in the region in future years."

The dates, times and venues of York RLFC Foundation's free weekly community sessions with Harrogate Hawks and Raiders Rugby League can be found below!

Raiders Rugby League

Every Tuesday:

Riccall Regen Centre, Landing Lane, Riccall, YO19 6PW (6pm – 7pm)

Harrogate Hawks

Every Thursday:

The Jim Saynor Ground, Station View, Harrogate, HG2 7JA (5.30pm – 6.30pm)

Please note that places are limited, so booking is essential!

 For more information on any of the above and to book onto the sessions in either Riccall or Harrogate, please email or call 01904 670880 and ask for the Foundation team.


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