time for clubs to Engage
by Phil Hodgson, League Express grassroots columnist (11 February 2013)
I’ve been taken aback, once more, by the continued commitment to Rugby League of an organisation that may have slipped off the radar for many supporters of our game, but whose input is arguably more important than it was when they sponsored the Super League.
I’m referring to Engage Mutual, who may have pulled out of backing Rugby League’s top tier three or four years ago, but whose support is perhaps more telling, now, than it was then.
Engage, having withdrawn from Super League, immediately switched their focus to the grassroots, funding and facilitating `makeover’ initiatives at amateur clubs throughout the land.
It’s been no cosmetic exercise (other than in the actual deeds at the clubs who have benefited) either.
The mutual outfit has lived up to the philosophy of its founding fathers by repeating the exercise, and is now offering its third year of support in a grand example of what the mutual movement – which has been hit hard by the carnivorous financial mood of the late 20th century – is all about.
Grassroots clubs will, during the summer, benefit from Engage Mutual, so long as they also help themselves by mustering volunteers for a weekend’s activity with paint brushes and mops.
Many amateur outfits have already made the most of the initiative, and I expect more to do the same in 2013 in one of the most heart-warming examples of sponsorship I can recall.
(reproduced with kind permission of League Express)
last year's reward winners
(8 October 2012)
The two winning clubs who picked up a cheque for £2,500 each were Burtonwood Bulldogs and Birstall Victoria.
All remaining community clubs that held an 'engage with your club' event were placed into a draw to win 1 of 10 cash prizes of £1000. And the winners were East Leeds, Chorley Panthers, Hull Isberg, Stanningley, Thatto Heath, Thornhill Trojans, Wigan St Patricks, St Josephs Sharks, Birkenshaw and Haydock.
The RFL Facilities Trust also awarded 2 additional prizes of £1000 to Newsome Panthers and Leigh Miners Rangers as a result of the successful events they had held.
The winners of the 'engage with your club' awards were announced at the RFL Community Awards Day on Saturday 6 October at Old Trafford, Manchester.