Plans announced for rugby league satellite clubs in West Midlands

Published Thursday, 18 March 2021

After months of lockdown and restrictions for the sport sector, rugby league is finally getting back on its feet and preparing for a huge comeback.

Pictured left to right: Debbie Watson, CEO Coventry Bears, Paul Sculthorpe, MBE former England Rugby League Player and Ambassador for RLWC2021 and Alan Robinson, owner and Director of Rugby Coventry Bears.
Pictured left to right: Debbie Watson, CEO Coventry Bears, Paul Sculthorpe, MBE former England Rugby League Player and Ambassador for RLWC2021 and Alan Robinson, owner and Director of Rugby Coventry Bears.

Coventry Bears Rugby League Football Club has been busy behind the scenes, setting up satellite clubs, bidding for funding and planning within their community for Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) to come to Coventry this October. 

Last year’s rugby league season was cut short, only managing two games. However, 2021 is looking to be a full season throughout the summer with crowds potentially returning to the Butts Park Arena from May.  

Coventry City Council has supported Coventry Bears in successfully securing funding to grow their community across the West Midlands in preparation for October’s Rugby League World Cup 2021 match at The Ricoh Arena.  

The club has secured £15,000 of kit and equipment from Rugby League World Cup in legacy funding along with £30,000 from the governing body, The Rugby Football League, to put together a long-term rugby league programme for schools. This will help Coventry Bears deliver rugby league amongst the younger generation of the region over the next few years. 

The funding will contribute towards the setting up of three satellite clubs specifically targeted at boys and girls ages eight to 14. The new satellite clubs are in planning and will aid the growth of the sport across the West Midlands, specifically within Coventry for juniors. 

Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, said: “I’m so pleased to hear about all of the community work that is in planning. Getting as many communities involved in sport and physical activity is so important for us.  

“One of the reasons we bid for major sporting events like the Rugby League World Cup 2021 is to support the development of grass roots sport within our communities to encourage more people to be active and take part. 

“We continue to look for partnerships and ways to build on the City of Sport 2019 legacy of getting people moving, and working with Coventry Bears is a perfect example of that. 

“The satellite clubs around the West Midlands will be amazing and I can’t wait to see those start to pop up, and of course the big game towards the end of the year will be another sporting highlight for the city.” 

Not only will the satellite clubs allow more young people to be educated in rugby league and allow more young people to get active, but they will create many jobs and volunteering opportunities in all areas including management, first aid and coaching. 

The satellite clubs will be based in the west and south of Coventry, as well as one on the east side of Birmingham and will build the roots of new communities in those areas as well as local competitive games for the players.  

Specific locations of the satellite clubs will be announced soon. 

Debbie Watson, CEO for Coventry Bears Rugby League Club and Community Coordinator for Bears in the Community CIC, said: “We feel really lucky to be able to get back up and running and kickstart the great things we have been planning throughout lockdown – both the professional team and our community work. 

“We have established a great link with the Coventry School Games Organisers and we look forward to coaching in local schools to give the youth in the city the opportunity to try a new sport this summer and for many years to come.”  

All upcoming rugby league matches and satellite club developments will be part of the exciting run up to Coventry’s Rugby League World Cup 2021 match where Scotland will play Australia at The Ricoh Arena on Friday 29 October.  

More information on Coventry Bears Rugby Club can be found on their website.  

To enquire about rugby league coaching in your school contact your School Games Organiser. 

To buy tickets to the RLWC2021 Scotland VS Australia match in Coventry, head to the RLWC2021 website to sign up for ticket alerts.  

Coventry City Council