More than 30 primary school children braved the adverse weather to take part in Luke Gale’s Kicking for Grassroots February half-term camp in Thorne, Doncaster.
Organised and delivered by the Changemakers from Trinity Academy, the group of A-Level students worked with rugby league star Luke Gale to bring a day full of rugby league activities to children across Doncaster.
Gale and his team of expert coaches focussed on the basic skills of playing rugby league, before the Leeds Rhinos and England international posed for photos and signed autographs to the delight of all those in attendance.
The Changemakers made it all possible, having promoted the half-term camp in primary schools across Thorne and the surrounding areas. The group also secured the facility, Trinity Academy, before running the event from the opening registration to making sure everything ran smoothly.
Changemakers is a brand-new project which aims to get young people engaged in rugby league. It has been running in Doncaster since September in Trinity Academy and has recently expanded into two more secondary schools: XP School and Rossington All Saints Academy.
With the first holiday camp deemed a success, the All Saints Changemakers have been hard at work generating interest for rugby league in the Rossington area, with an Easter holiday camp already in the pipeline.
Fully supported by Gale, the Changemakers will continue to work closely with the former Super League Man of Steel in the build-up to the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
The Changemakers project has given students at Trinity Academy added skills and knowledge around one of England’s longest running sports and will help students learn the value of a strong community, according to Assistant Director of Trinity Academy Sixth Form Luke Fowles.
He said: “We were trying to provide our students with more opportunities outside of their learning, which is exactly what the Changemakers project provides.
“Students that have been involved have developed a real sense of independence and ownership of their project, as well as widening their experience in key personal skills that employers are looking for.”
Not only does the Changemakers increase knowledge on rugby league, it also allows those involved to further their career prospects, much to the delight of Luke and the staff at Trinity Academy.
He added: “None of the students are particularly sporty but are passionate about improving their career options and they recognised that Changemakers is an opportunity not to be missed.
“The project has certainly made a positive impact on the students and we are proud of their achievements so far.”
Alongside Gale, the Changemakers have also struck up a partnership with Doncaster Rugby League Club, where they have been working on matchdays at the Keepmoat Stadium to generate interest for the Dons.
Working with the Dons’ community team, the Changemakers will be going into schools and promoting rugby league, inspiring and motivating young people, including fellow students, to get involved in the sport.
With the World Cup firmly on the horizon, and with the Keepmoat Stadium set to host three games, the Changemakers mission is clear: allow local communities to have the opportunity to experience rugby league like never before.
Overseen by SSS Network, who have already seen foundations it partners with flourish, most notably boxing foundations Team Mac Fight for Good and Jordan Gill’s Next Generation. The sport of rugby league is proving to be just as popular.