Rugby League World Cup 2021 selects £10m capital grant recipients

Adam Hills poses at Warrington's Victoria Park

The Rugby World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has chosen three recipients for its CreatedBy social impact initiative which offers community clubs and organisations a £10 million grant to go towards improving facilities and equipment.

This year, the significant funding pot will be shared out among the Thatto Heath Crusaders, Siddal ARLFC and Victoria Park ARLFC, encouraging people to get involved in rugby league.

“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,” said Sport England Director of Property, Charles Johnston.

 “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.”

National Conference League club Thatto Heath Crusaders will use the money to install a carpet hybrid pitch and match quality floodlighting, along with developing a girl’s pathway into the sport.

Similarly, Siddal plans to convert its grass pitch into a carpet hybrid pitch with the help of the funding to reduce the costs of hiring external training facilities.

Meanwhile, amateur side Victoria Park ARLFC will put a chunk of £600,000 towards a new 3G pitch, turning the club into a community hub for rugby league in Warrington, with the backing of Warrington Borough Council and the Warrington Wolves Foundation. Moreover, it will help to grow the Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL), Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL).

Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Jon Dutton, commented: “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 the 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.”

The Rugby Football League, Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have collaborated on the programme since 2016, as part of the tournament’s wider InspirationALL initiative.

The men and women’s 2021 RLWC will be the sixteenth edition of the major tournament, with Old Trafford set to host the double-header final.