The RLEF has approved a new governing body for rugby league in Germany, the Nationaler Rugby League Deutschland (NRLD).
This follows the the dissolution of the original organisation, Rugby League Deutschland (RLD), which lost its Affiliate Member status in September 2014 for breaches of the RLEF’s governance rules.
The new NRLD has now been granted Observer status with the RLEF, having been set up in accordance with the updated Rugby League International Federation member policy, which was adopted in October.
The new body is targeting Affiliate Membership of the RLEF in 2017.
Many veteran German rugby league enthusiasts remain in place in the new body, however, and played key roles in setting it up.
Bob Doughton, who has lived in Germany for 25 years, and played rugyb league in France for Toulouse and Bordeaux, is the new president.
He also established the North-Rhine Westphalia Broncos in 2012, with other clubs being created in Baden-Wurttemberg and Bremen.
German rugby league founder Simon Cooper, a German national born in Halifax, is the vice-president of the new body.
Florian Schulz and Mawuli Amefia, both of whom have been involved with the sport in Germany since 2011, complete the four-strong management board.
“An extraordinary amount of work has been done by a group of dedicated rugby league stalwarts to set up a completely new NGB in-line with the RLEF guidelines on good governance,” said Doughton, a former Great Britain Student international.
“We have a new constitution, a new strategic plan and a brand new website will soon be online.
“We have qualified coach and match official educators, we are developing a progressive ‘Player Pathway Programme’ and are bursting with new ideas.”
The NRLD is now in the process of setting up clubs who will play a series of Nines competitions in 2015, before moving to a 13-a-side club competition in 2016.
“Our challenge now is to build a sustainable rugby league community on the foundations we have worked so tirelessly to create,” Doughton added.
“One that will provide all of our members with the quality rugby league experience they deserve, whatever level or activity they participate in.
“We want Germany to take its place at the forefront of the development of rugby league in Europe.”
Doughton and his colleagues have been gaining further experience by taking part in the RLEF-EU Leadership Devolution Project, partnered with Denmark and mentor nation Wales.
The project, which includes exchanges of best practice and good governance, helped Doughton and his colleagues to share ideas before setting up the NRLD.