Wigan have linked with Ireland Rugby League in a partnership with community club Loughshinny RLFC.
The Super League side’s Community Foundation will start to deliver rugby league in Ireland in a bid to increase participation within the game over the water.
Staff from Wigan’s Community Foundation recently visited Loughshinny, a coastal village in northern County Dublin, the first community club in Ireland to become part of the ambassador project.
Wigan’s visit to Ireland saw the community team attend schools and local rugby league clubs to share future partnership plans. The new agreement will see Wigan coaches deliver rugby league through a host of fun school holiday camps, development day performance sessions and coach education workshops for all teachers and coaches.
Wigan looking to reach out to new fans and participants
Head of the Community Foundation, Martin McLoughlin, said: “Working with Ireland RL and Loughshinny RLFC is another powerful statement of the aspirations of Wigan Warriors and its Community Foundation.
“We hope to generate a positive presence, profile and brand through strategic delivery in areas of potential growth. If we can provide schools and clubs with the fundamentals to increase community engagement it allows us to reach out to new fans and new participants.”
New programme to deliver clear pathway with club
The Warriors say that the new partnership will give young aspiring players a clear pathway with the club.
Chairman of Rugby League Ireland, Jim Reynolds, said: “I am delighted that Wigan Warriors have chosen to bring this first-in-Ireland partnership between a local club for junior RL players and coaches directly into their outstanding ambassador programme – their first outside of England.
“Growing junior RL is one of the major pillars of the RLI five year strategic plan, that we launched three months ago, to build and sustain our great sport in Ireland for the decades to come. Congratulations to all involved!”
Rory O’Hara of Loughshinny RL added: “Loughshinny Rugby League Club and St Brendan’s School Rugby League were delighted to host Wigan Warriors.
“This partnership strengthens Wigan’s connection with our Irish fans not just in Ireland but with the wider Irish Rugby League diasporas around the world, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, while also providing a clear pathway for young Irish players both in Loughshinny and in Ireland as a whole to participate in rugby league and take up all the advantages and knowledge that being an ambassador to the Wigan Warriors entails!”