Partnership helping boost playing numbers

Steve Beaty and Gill Marsden with some local children.
Steve Beaty and Gill Marsden with some local children.
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More children are giving rugby league a try thanks to a club’s partnership with local schools.

Since July last year, Cramlington Rockets has been working with the Cramlington School Sports Partnership (SSP).

Cramlington SSP co-ordinator Gill Marsden and Rockets development officer Steve Beaty agreed, along with Cramlington Learning Village, to create a full time community-focused role for Steve to engage with youngsters in Cramlington.

More than 20 children attended the first official Rockets half term camp in September, with an open day in January attracting 31.

Gill said: “It is rewarding to work with a club such as Cramlington Rockets, who are friendly and community-based and provide a very good sports club experience for primary age children.

“The programme of coaching in schools has had a really pleasing return in local young children joining the club and attending holiday courses, which is clear evidence of the impact of the government’s Sport Premium funding.

“It has been exciting to see the club growing and developing, and I hope that many more Cramlington children continue to be caught by the rugby league bug in the future.”

Steve said: “I was extremely excited when this project started to come together as Cramlington and Northumberland as a whole has so much potential for an amazing sport such as rugby league.

“I was at the club when we made the decision to move from Killingworth to Cramlington in 2009.

“It was a logical choice at the time as demand for the sport was starting to grow but never did I think we would have U8s to seniors and a full time community department with two members of staff only six years later.”

He added: “I personally can’t thank Gill enough. Her support and enthusiasm to get children playing sport has been inspiring.

“I must also thank all the schools that have made this possible, including the Cramlington Learning Village who have been a big part of our Rockets Revolution.”

The latest open day for the Under 10s was led by Steve and Danny Gilroy, with the youngsters taking part in games to learn rugby skills.

For more information about Cramlington Rockets visit their website or email rocketscommunity@gmail.com