Kids will be able to watch Championship rugby league for free this season, as part of a new RFL initiative.
Specific rounds of the Championship season, to coincide with school holidays, have been allocated as “Kids Go Free” games that will allow children under 16 to attend free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult.
The dates are 14th-17th April (Round 5), 19th-22nd May (Round 10), 9th-10th July (Round 16), 23rd-24th July (Round 17), 30th-31st July (Round 18), 5th-7th August (Round 19).
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The RFL has launched this initiative with The Co-operative to help families during these tough times and expose more people to Rugby League.
“We have been working closely with the clubs to make this happen and as a result, we will trial the scheme throughout the school holidays which includes Easter, May half term and Summer. By encouraging more children to attend, we hope they will be inspired to take up Rugby League and engage with this growing sport.”
The ‘Kids Go Free’ scheme was announced at the official launch of the Co-operative Championships season at Leigh Sports Village, where local schoolchildren attended a training session with club captains and Co-operative ambassador Paul Sculthorpe. Avid Rugby League fan and star of stage and screen Lucy-Jo Hudson, who has been engaged as a Co-operative ambassador for the season, was also present at the launch to lend her support for the initiative.
Paul Sculthorpe, Co-operative ambassador and two-time Man of Steel winner, said, “The concept of kids going free to games is fantastic. The more children exposed to the game the better, and to be able to help out families during these hard times is a positive thing.”
Lucy-Jo Hudson, who attended the launch, shows her support for the scheme. “I’m a massive Rugby League fan and have followed the sport from an early age with my family. Rugby League is a fantastic family sport, and I fully lend my support to giving as many children as possible the opportunity to attend games.”
The ‘Kids Go Free’ scheme follows research commissioned by The Co-operative which showed that family time has taken a hit during the economic crisis, as families have less disposable income to spend on family outings than they did two years ago. The survey revealed that 72 per cent of families are spending less on family activities during these tough times and 81 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to attend an event if children were able to attend free of charge.