Farnley Falcons has become a cornerstone of its community in recent years, adding a new age group to its ranks each year since 2015.
Through vital funding from the RFL’s Sky Try programme, the Leeds Rhinos Foundation has been enabled to offer expert coaching to a range of local Leeds-based clubs and schools.
The programme has led to new clubs and rising starlets being supported to create community hubs, improve the grassroots game and cultivate the stars of the future.
For Farnley Falcons, the Rhinos Foundation’s community investment has increased local participation tremendously, engaging 1,441 children in 2019 alone – many times that have had a chance to try rugby league over the five years relationship between the school and foundation.
Annual training camps for primary level pupils at five local schools, including training session and assemblies are driving the majority of Farnley’s recruitment drive.
The club now offers coaching and a sense of community to 268 children across U7s, U8s, U9s, U10s and U11s in one of Leeds’ most underinvested areas.
Leeds Rhinos Foundation taster sessions in local schools have provided Farnley Falcons with a raft of new players each year to help build the next generation team.
The sustained annual injection of new enthusiastic talent is key to the club’s growth, having first been established to cater for children who wanted to play regularly after Sky Try sessions.
Thomas Stainland, Farnley Falcons chairman, said:
“We’re proud to be a product of this fantastic programme; Sky Try is not only working with the Rhinos, it is engaging and funding clubs’ foundations across the north and further afield – our existence demonstrates the impact of the programme.
“I love what this club has become, encouraging more young people to get on board and engage with local community rugby can only be a good thing.
“Our growth has been supported throughout, both player retention and new recruits have both been supported. The Sky Try taster sessions are essential in helping to introduce new players to Leeds Rhinos’ Ambassador clubs, like ourselves.”
Sky Try is the biggest-ever programme of rugby league opportunities, supporting club foundations across the country.
In 2019, the programme engaged a record 150,000 children and young people with top-class rugby league coaching – with the initiative is set to exceed its lofty target of 700,000 participants by July 2021.
Sky Try manager, Thomas Brindle said:
“This initiative is all about inspiring young people to get involved in rugby league and sport more widely. Sport teaches young people how to conduct themselves around others, teamwork and ultimately what can be achieved when they work hard and persevere.”
The Falcons is currently looking for girls to join its under 12s team.
Training is free every Saturday from January 11. 10.30am start on the Butt Lane training fields.