Rugby league club hoping to inspire and build youth setup

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Kids with a thirst for summer rugby are being urged to try out training sessions at Sherwood Wolf Hunt.

The Midlands-based rugby league club, founded in 2014, is looking to develop its junior section to help safeguard the future of the senior sides.

Coaches are looking to establish an under-13s team this summer through taster sessions and development days ahead of entering a league next year.

Co-chairman Richard Tempest-Mitchell has been encouraged by the feedback the club have had so far as they look to create a pathway to the first team.

He said: “Rugby can’t survive without a junior set up. We really do need a strong junior section to move forward. It might take us five years to get going but you won’t survive without one. It’s the same with soccer and other sports, you need players coming through to hopefully go on and play in the second team and then the first team.

“The RFL (Rugby Football League) have identified that there needs to be more resources around, including the Midlands, and we’re the nearest club in there to Yorkshire without being in Yorkshire. It might take us a bit of time but we’ll be playing at a decent level. The RFL have told everyone to get in to schools to spread the word on rugby league to 12-14 year-olds.”

The club is working with the RFL’s Embed the Pathway (ETP) programme, which is designed to support coaches, coaching 12 to 16 year olds, developing players into the Super League stars of the future.

And is in discussions with schools in the area, including Garibaldi College, to run sessions after class to introduce the sport, develop skills and understanding.

“It’s about having fun,” said Richard. “The kids don’t necessarily know rugby league, or haven’t been taught the game. I’ve played since I was eight-years-old and know it. If kids are introduced to it they’ll play it. It’s summer rugby, a lot of fun and simple to play. We want to get coaches into schools so we can introduce it to them.”

The Wolf Hunt’s U13s team will start in a Midlands Merit League.

He said: “The two guys who are going to run the under-13s teams already believe they’ve got a full squad of about 20 kids. That’s just through word of mouth, with kids and parents talking. Every time I put something on the Facebook page about the junior set up we get a big response and it shows there is the interest there.

“It’s about the community for me, if we can get lads playing the game I love and hopefully they will too, that will be fantastic. They can develop their skills, learn the game and the respect that comes with it, like most sports, and enjoy it then those are things they can take with them through life.”

The club’s Development Day is June 12 at Debdale Park. All those interested in getting involved on the day or at the club can email adam.bates87@gmail.com.