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Leading the hunt for rugby league’s future players

Posted onPosted on 3rd Jun

Sherwood Wolf Hunt Rugby League club, based at Debdale Park, Mansfield Woodhouse, is developing a junior section to cover the Midlands.

The club, now in its third season, is holding training sessions for youngsters through its Midlands Junior Development Programme — and is going from strength to strength with two adult teams and a junior section.

It is also in discussions with schools in the area, including Garibaldi College at Forest Town, about developing youngsters’ skills and interest in the sport.

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

The aim is to give every child in the Midlands the opportunity to have fun while learning the skills and qualities of a great young rugby league player, with a view to building the summer rugby programme from Sherwood Forest down to the south west border of the region.

The senior team is going from strength to strength and now playing in the Midlands Premier Division after gaining promotion last season.

Co-chairman Richard Tempest-Mitchell said: “Rugby can’t survive without a junior set-up. We do need a strong junior section to move forward.

“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.”

The club is working with the Rugby Football League and the Embed The Pathway programme on the project.

A total of 15 full development days throughout the Midlands are being held for seven to 14-year-olds to have a go at rugby league during the summer.

The sessions are being staffed by RFL trained L2 coaches from across the Midland.

Children do not need to be registered with a club and will be insured by the RFL.

The next development days at Debdale Park in Mansfield Woodhouse are on 12th June and 14th August, but the Wolf Hunt Junior Academy for under-13s and under-10s meets on Thursdays, from 5.45pm-7pm. It is open to boys and girls aged seven to 14.

“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 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.”

Wolf Hunt’s under-13s team will start in a Midlands Merit League playing against teams such as Nottingham Outlaws, Derbyshire Chargers and Leicester Storm.

The whole of the Midlands group is expected to take part in a junior festival in August at Coventry Bears.

Richard said: “Every time I put something on the Facebook page about the junior set-up we get a big response and it shows the interest is there.

“It’s about the community for me. If we can get lads playing the game I love then hopefully they will too and that would be fantastic. They can develop their skills, learn the game and the respect that comes with it, like most sports.

“They can enjoy it then — those are things they can take with them through life.”

All those interested in getting involved should email [email protected] or Richard [email protected] or just turn up.