Wigan Warriors Community Foundation are starting to deliver Rugby League in Ireland in a bid to increase participation within the game over the water. Staff from the 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.
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.”
During the visit they attended schools and the local Rugby League Clubs facilities to share future partnership plans that will see Wigan Warriors 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 Warriors community club ambassadors programme is fully committed to supporting all 21 local community clubs that are involved in the new 2022 program and any other clubs that have an interest to be involved and seek professional support with their club’s future development.
This new and exciting partnership will complement those efforts and support the growth of the grassroots game and also give young aspiring rugby players a clear pathway with Wigan Warriors. The visit was the first of many to Ireland that will engage with so many Irish rugby league enthusiasts & in return we are looking forward to welcoming Loughshinny and Ireland Rugby League to a Wigan Warriors home fixture in 2022.
Rory O’Hara of Loughshinny RL said: “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!”
In addition, 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!”