Rugby league impact report finds increased aspiration in local communities

Drew Darbyshire

The Rugby Football League has today launched a new report that sees “significant” social capital through sporting and volunteering opportunities in local towns.

Social capital is the measurement of community cohesion, sense of identity and aspiration through role models and local sporting and civic pride and inclusion.

The aim of the Dividend Report is to set out the specific and measurable contribution of rugby league clubs and charitable Foundations to local economies.

The Dividend Report considered the array of services and opportunities offered through the charitable foundations of professional clubs and via grassroots clubs. This social impact is valued at over £185m a year; and the total annual economic impact of rugby league exceeding a further £141m a year.

The £185m impact can be attributed to social wellbeing such as health outcomes, crime reduction, improved education, employment outcomes, volunteering opportunities and improved life satisfaction.

Leeds forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan said: “As a Super League and England player I can say that the sport has given me a great deal.

“Even more in my role with a rugby league foundation I see first-hand the powerful differences the sport makes to huge numbers of people in communities like my own.

“It is the social glue that still binds us together in communities where much has changed and some can feel marginalised. It cares for people and opens eyes to opportunities on and off the pitch. We are on the ground, real and relevant.

“Investment in rugby league helps clubs and foundations play even more of these vital roles in communities and helps level the playing field when people face disadvantage and challenges in life.”

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