The journey to improve developing nations in Rugby League across Europe has begun following the first International Development Programme initiative of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC 2021) taking place in the Netherlands.
The “Inspired by 2021” team visited the Netherlands to deliver a two-day workshop with the Dutch and German Rugby League Federations, aimed to help both nations learn and share knowledge around governance, developing the sport and building wider international relationships.
In addition, the team visited two local school community engagement events taking the famous Paul Barrière Trophy, a guest lecture at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and finished with a reception at the British Ambassador’s Residence in the Hague.
By working alongside the Rugby League International Federation and with the backing of UK Sport, the RLWC 2021 International Development Programme aims to build partnerships to target barriers to the sport’s growth in individual developing nations. The next trip will take the team to Papua New Guinea later in 2018.
Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of the RLWC 2021, said: “We’re delighted with the start of the International Development Programme and the very successful workshops with both the Dutch and German Rugby League Federations.
“We’re confident that our team has delivered a series of vital sessions that will help the Federations continue to grow their sport in their respective nations.
“We’d also like to thank the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, for hosting a fantastic reception, which gave us the chance to network and connect with a number of high-profile representatives that will no doubt help us on our journey to deliver the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup of all time when it comes to England in three years’ time”
British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, added: “I’m honoured to have hosted the first event of the RLWC International Development Programme, and that The Netherlands was chosen to kick this off. Collaboration in sports underlines the strong bilateral relationship we have with The Netherlands: both countries take our sport very seriously.
“I’m very excited about the Rugby League World Cup 2021. It will be a ground-breaking sports event, with the Women’s and Wheelchair World Cup being held at the same time.”
Thijs van der Zouwen, President Nederlandse Rugby League Bond, commented: “The Dutch Rugby League Board was honoured to be chosen to be the first country to host the International Development Programme. The initiative focused on promoting the game, finding new members/sponsors and to enhance our administrative skills.”
The International Development Programme is being delivered in partnership with UK Sport and the Rugby League International Federation, a project designed to grow the game at all levels and support the long-term prosperity of the sport in developing Rugby League nations across the globe.