Community club Manchester Rangers and Polska XIII (Polish Rugby League) have announced a partnership which will help rugby league develop in Manchester’s Polish community.
Rangers player and coach Anthony Petrykowski, whose grandfather was born In Steklin and was in the Polish army during the Second World War, travelled to Poland last to lay the foundations for the link.
Lodz is the birthplace of the sport in Poland, the country’s third largest city and is often referred to as ‘Poland’s Manchester’.
The Lodz Magpies will be one of five clubs taking part in the first Polish championship this season alongside Brzeziny, Strykow, Skierniewice and Tomaszow Mazowiecki.
The UK-based Polish newspaper Polskie Echo, was recently invited to the Rangers season launch event at the Manchester Regional Arena at Sports City.
The club are also planning to have a Polish-speaking ambassador at matches to welcome spectators.
In return, Polska XIII will help with the translation of club news into Polish and the promotion of the Manchester Rangers brand across the city to the Polish community.
Rangers chairman Phil Fitton said: “Everyone in the city is welcome to become a part of the club, rugby league is an inclusive family sport. As well as developing the game in Manchester, we want to support growth internationally and our relationship with Polish Rugby League is a fantastic place to start.”
Polska XIII President Lukasz Lucka added: “I’m very excited about establishing links with Manchester Rangers. It’s a fantastic club and we hope to get Polish migrants in UK involved in rugby league.”