As part of the celebratory events surrounding last weekend’s Carnegie Challenge Cup Final, the Rugby League European Federation held its AGM and Conference.
Among the items debated and approved was a new constitution; Wales were confirmed as having full member status and a new seven year strategy document covering two World Cup periods, from 2010 to 2017, was formally adopted.
The key points of the strategy include; a drive to increase participation through domestic competition coupled with the implementation of qualified national technical departments for coaching and match officials, the institution of regional cluster areas to aid mutual development and a more corporate approach and image for the RLEF.
A new competition structure was also approved with biennial four nation European Cups beginning later this autumn, the Shield re-formatted in 2012 as a matching four nation competition, played home and away over two seasons for Affiliate Members only and with a World Cup Qualifying link, and a new look Bowl competition which will be tailored to competing nations’ needs.
In addition, the Jamaican and Italian RL Associations applied for Affiliate Membership status, which the Board is to review while Canada was granted Observer status.
The Board itself is to undergo a re-vamp and will become a permanent body elected on a two year term which will be ratified at the next board meeting in October and will run until the 2012 AGM.
RLEF General Manager Danny Kazandjian commented, “The first RLEF Conference was a really worthwhile assembly. The feedback we received from the nations was extremely positive and I think there’s a realisation from the membership that this is a good time to be involved in rugby league, with the sport making so much progress on various different levels.
“I am really looking forward to working with all our industrious nations and the RLEF staff over the coming months to embed and expand rugby league on the Continent and beyond.”
Attending nations were England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Nederlands, Norway, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Serbia, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Catalonia.