Rugby league in Europe has been handed a massive financial boost, with the RLEF receiving its biggest ever grant of €466, 000 from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.
The RLEF is one of only 22 projects selected for funding from over 330 eligibile applications, for the three-year scheme which includes 21 nations.
“The European Union has been a critically important partner of the RLEF,” said RELF general manager Danny Kazandjian.
“They have been full-square behind the expansion and progress we have made over the last five years.
“This new project has the potential to change the face of the sport in Europe and we are incredibly excited to begin implementing it.
“Rugby league in Europe continues to grow rapidly.
“The RLEF is dealing with the fundamental need to ensure its expanding network of members is equipped with knowledgeable and qualified staff able to disseminate the sport’s on-and off-field values and cutting-edge sporting techniques at a high level.
“We are also ensuring that it is administered by robust, democratic and transparent national governing bodies.”
The cash will fund the ‘Training and Education Portal’ (TEP) which will be implemented through six clusters.
Two of these clusters will be led by Ukraine and Serbia, set to be involved in an RLEF-EU project for the first time, and who have been added due to their expertise in grassroots technical education.
The TEP will also see the formation of an RLEF education department, which will receive backing from two Super League clubs.
The project will also increase the federation’s suite of qualifications from four to ten, and will see them registered on the European Qualifications Framework. It will also introduce an e-Learning component and technical portal.
Additional funding is being provided by the Rugby League International Federation.
Previously, the RLEF has won EU grants of €5,000 from the EC mission in the UK in 2010, €80,000 from the Leonardo da Vinci programme in 2011, and a total of €298.000 in 2012-13 from the Sport Unit.