Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston MP not only witnessed the community impact of Rugby League in St Helens this past week but also came up close and personal with the prized men’s World Cup trophy.
Invited by MP for St Helens North, Conor McGinn, and accompanied by RFL Chief Executive Ralph Rimmer, the Sports Minister visited Blackbrook Rugby and Recreation Club in the Lancashire town.
The Minister was welcomed by Blackbrook Rugby and Recreation club captain Craig Lyon and both had a chance to admire the Paul Barriere Trophy which will be presented to the winning nation at Old Trafford, Manchester on November 27, 2021 – the grand finale to a stunning finals weekend of RLWC2021 action.
Blackbrook is one of many grassroots clubs across England to have benefitted from the way that RLWC2021 has worked with UK Sport and Sport England through the RLWC2021 CreatedBy legacy capital grants programme.
Through the CreatedBy fund Blackbrook Royals Junior RLFC have been awarded more than £3,000 towards kit and equipment, which will allow them to create a female junior section consisting of two teams at the Under 14 and 16 age groups.
Blackbrook Rugby and Recreation Club, a real hub of the local community, also received more than £11,000 towards the upgrade of their boiler and hot water system and refurbishment of their showers in the refurbished changing rooms from St. Helens R.F.C.
The RLWC2021 will feature the Women’s as well as Men’s and Wheelchair tournaments in October and November 2021. The Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens will play host to three group matches in the Men’s event.
All 61 matches of the RLWC2021 will be shown by the BBC in the United Kingdom and is unique as this is the first time that the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair tournaments would have been staged consecutively in what will be a fan-focussed event.
Jon Dutton, the RLWC2021 Chief Executive, said:
“At RLWC2021 we understand the importance of the support we receive from our communities and we are delighted that, in some way, with the help of our facilities funding programme, CreatedBy, we can repay that loyalty.
‘We are aiming to deliver not only the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup but also, with the help of the Government, UK Sport and Sport England, a lasting and meaningful legacy. We thank the Sports Minister – and his colleagues in Government – for their continued and important support.”