World Cup CEO: Social impact programme 'making a difference'

Organisers of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 are confident the tournament will leave a “long-lasting legacy” on communities in Northern England after funding from its large grants programme moved past the £10million mark.

Three new projects, which are part of the tournament’s ‘InspirationALL’ social impact initiative, will be supported thanks to a funding pot made available by the Government to stimulate growth in participation in the sport.

Thatto Heath Crusaders in St Helens, Siddal ARLFC in Halifax, and Victoria Park ARLFC in Warrington will receive new facilities including artificial pitches aimed at increasing participation, including specifically amongst women and girls, and – in the case of Warrington – Physical Disability Rugby League and Learning Disability Rugby League.

The Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Jon Dutton (pictured above left), said: “With exactly a year to go until our finals at Old Trafford our social impact programme is really making a difference. To achieve £10million worth of new projects that will leave a long-lasting legacy in community rugby league is fantastic.

“As a tournament with a purpose we are dedicated to using the next 12 months to continue this much-needed investment programme through the pledge that UK Government have made to the tournament.

“The three latest projects are a celebration of partners working together for the greater good and I would like to place on record my thanks to Warrington Council, St Helens Council along with representatives of Thatto Heath Crusaders and Siddal who have worked tirelessly to find the match funding to enable the projects to become a reality.

“We are confident that these new developments will become an essential part of their respective communities, offering future generations of the rugby league family a place to develop, while also having a positive impact on the larger community.”

Sport England Director of Property Charles Johnston said: “In working to ensure the legacy of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 is as impactful as possible, it is brilliant to see more life-changing investments into community clubs and organisations within the regions which will play a part in hosting the event.

“These investments will be instrumental in impacting how local communities engage with Rugby League, and I echo Jon’s thoughts in looking forward to seeing the developments come to life.”