Newcastle Magpies RLFC will mark the first time for almost thirty years since there was a community rugby league club bearing the Newcastle name.
While the likes of Cramlington Rockets, Gateshead Storm, Whitley Bay Barbarians and others will be familiar to rugby league fans across the country, there is a lot of excitement building around the club that will be based to the west of the city centre.
Supported by Newcastle Thunder and the Rugby League World Cup, the club will hold its launch evening at 6-7pm on Thursday 17th October for children aged 7-12 years old At Walbottle Campus.
With numbers already looking healthy, it is one of the first activities to take place on the brand new 3G pitch at Walbottle, recently opened by the mayor of Newcastle, and becoming one of the first 3G pitches in the North East to having rugby league markings.
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“It’s incredibly exciting for the city and also the community game” said Chairman, Jordan Robinson. “We’ve seen a lot of success with rugby league expansion in the North East at a professional level and now is the time to use that to really accelerate the growth of the community game.”
Set to wear the famed black and white stripes, the Magpies will add to the growing participation numbers that has already seen the North East player numbers grow 30% in the last 5 years.
“We’ve been spending a lot of time with the Outer West Learning Trust, working with local schools to introduce rugby league” said community coach, Steve Beaty. “They’ve really taken to it, with lots of kids getting involved with big smiles on their faces.
Having seen the positive impact we have had from the growth of Cramlington and also Alnwick Bears, who launched in 2018 to the north of the city, it really is a prime time for young people to get involved.”
Newcastle Magpies’ creation marks the first milestone in the Rugby League World Cup legacy programme that formed part of Newcastle’s bid to be a host city in the 2021 tournament.
As well as a new club, the city is aiming to increase participation and awareness of the sport ahead of the opening World Cup match that will feature England at St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United, making their tag line of #HowaytheMags a fitting rallying call.
Anyone wishing to know more or sign up for the launch event should email steve.beaty@newcastle-thunder.
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