Many seasoned Rugby League enthusiasts may choose to watch our great game from the terraces or listen to commentary greats on television or radio. This however, for a certain group of former amateur players, referees, wives and lovers of the game… just isn’t enough.
This company of males and females from Yorkshire have engaged in a unique programme offering fitness, skills and a fantastic social experience via Huddersfield Giants Community Trust ‘BACK TO RUGBY’.
Based at The Zone, Huddersfield on Friday mornings, the charities ‘BACK TO RUGBY’ programme is designed to engage or re-engage adults with sport and active recreation, with specific aims to keep session’s social and fun whilst incorporating light exercise.
The group, made up of mixed ability adults weekly attend to have a steady general workout that incorporates a lengthy warm-up, multi-skill games and Touch Rugby League. Huddersfield Giants Community Trust Development Officer Danny Scott said:
“The programme running here at The Zone is becoming a huge success with attendances rising week-on-week.
“The sessions are aimed at older Rugby League enthusiasts that want to involve themselves in a social environment, yet also want to partake in sport. The hour long sessions are light in content and the participants are invited to a tea and coffee social post session, so the whole morning is great value for £2.50”.
“As the lead of the programme I have seen how the adults have embraced the sessions and see it as a fun experience to add to their week. The group really seem to enjoy it and also like the chance to relax afterwards and converse with other attendees. There is a real buzz around the project and a welcoming atmosphere.”
Some participants within the group have previous ailments and illnesses, however with permission from their doctors they engage in the project to keep fit and healthy. Participants are also given regular breaks throughout the session and are encouraged to take on fluid and take ‘time out’ to suit.
The group has already raised eyebrows within Rugby League circles with both Giants Business Development Manager Robbie Hunter-Paul and Dewsbury Rams player Nick Fozzard both attending sessions to investigate and show support to the project.
Robbie Hunter-Paul said “The ‘BACK TO RUGBY’ initiative is a fantastic way for rugby fans to stay actively involved in the sport:
“Luckily for me I have had the joy of participating in the touch rugby games that take place at the Zone and I can say it is quite a fun ‘run around’. I encourage all to get along and join in the fun as we all know Rugby League is a sport to play as well as be watched.”
The sessions at The Zone take place on the indoor 3G pitches that offer a soft ground and warm environment to participate within, with a relaxing social held afterwards in the café area.
Ever-present participant Brian Dickinson commented on the project. “I’m really enjoying coming down to the sessions, meeting new people and having a laugh.
“The timing of the sessions is perfect so I can have a slow morning and the actual workout is just up my street, nice and steady. Also the fact I have not had a ball in hand for 30 years, it’s great getting back into the swing of it and beats just walking somewhere.
“I also like the fact that I can break when I want during the sessions so I don’t get too tired or put too much pressure on myself.
There has also been an uptake from female Rugby enthusiasts that want to participate and engage in the programme.
Gill Kennedy – along with husband Eddie – regularly attends the ‘BACK TO RUGBY’ sessions and has benefitted massively
“Well what can I say, brilliant, fun, social and great exercise!
“I’ve found it really enjoyable and the people playing are easy to get on with. There is competition but its minimal, people respect each other and play as a team.
‘BACK TO RUGBY’ Sessions take place every Friday 11am-12noon/ £2.50. Sessions are based at the Zone, Off St. Andrews Road, Huddersfield, HD1 6PT. For more information please feel free to contact Development Officer Danny Scott on 01484 484170 or email@example.com
Pictured: Huddersfield Community Trust director Paul France trying his luck past the defence of Robbie Paul.