Sports Minister visits Blackbrook RL club in St Helens

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston MP visited Blackbrook Rugby League Club in St Helens on a special day for the sport as Government signed off the RFL’s return to Community Rugby League Action Plan - which will see a phased and incremental return over the coming weeks and months.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 2:07 pm
Updated Monday, 10th August 2020, 2:09 pm
Members of the Blackbrook Rugby League club with MPs Marie Rimmer and Conor McGinn, Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston, Paul Sculthorpe and RFL CEO Ralph Rimmer pictured with the Rugby League World Cup. Picture: SWPix

The Minister was able to see for himself how Blackbrook is at the heart of its community, bringing sporting, social and volunteering opportunities to hundreds of children, young people and adults.

He heard first-hand about the club’s importance to the local community as evidenced by the incredible work of the club, the Steve Prescott Foundation charity and local pub the Eccleston arms as they joined forces to bring food and cheer to local people during lockdown.

Club captain Craig Lyon and junior secretary Paul Levick and other club volunteers showcased all the ways the club has worked to keep players active and engaged during the recent period – including the use of digital resources.

Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston gets involved with training alongside the juniors at Blackbrook. Picture: SWPix

Young Blackbrook players demonstrated some of their small group training skills and drills for the Minister and guests, as they look forward to training in larger groups and the phased return of the sport.

The club is transforming its facilities with the support of the RLWC2021 CreatedBY legacy fund. The junior section was awarded £3,076.92 towards kit and equipment to create a female junior section consisting of two teams at the Under 14 and 16 age groups. And the club was also awarded £11,100 towards the upgrade of their boiler and hot water system and refurbishment of their showers in the changing rooms.

Appropriately the Men’s World Cup trophy visited the club for an exciting photo opportunity with the young players and a chance to celebrate the whole town as the proud host three mens games next year.

Round 1 Tonga v PNG; Round 2 Tonga v Wales; Round 3 Australia v Italy will all be played at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston during a visit to Blackbrook rugby league club with Gary Swift looking at some of the upgrades provided by grant money. Picture: SWPix

Both local St Helens MPs Conor McGinn MP and Marie Rimmer MP went along to show their support for Blackbrook, St Helens RLFC and RLWC2021, together with Paul Sculthorpe MBE and Ralph Rimmer, CEO The RFL, alongside Lizzie Hughes from Sport England.

Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston during a visit to Blackbrook rugby league club with Craig Lyon Picture: SWPix