Rugby League World Cup brings sports inclusiveness to Sheffield
The Rugby League World Cup 2021 has brought men’s, women’s and wheelchair disciplines all under one inclusive tournament in Sheffield.
The tournament, which started on October 15 after being postponed last year, comprises 61 games, with 20 countries represented and 32 teams taking part.
Councillor Martin Smith, Chair of the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “The tournament will be another brilliant showcase of sport at the highest level, and I know that we’re going to see even more people inspired to have a go.”
Sheffield City Council, in partnership with Sheffield Eagles and Eagles Foundation, Sheffield United Football Club and Sheffield City Trust will deliver the tournament locally and use the event to inspire and grow the sport in the city.
Sheffield will see nine fixtures including the men’s England vs Greece match live at Bramall Lane on October 29 and eight wheelchair clashes between France, Wales, USA and Scotland from 4 November to 13 Novemeber.
The tournament is set to be the biggest, most attended and most inclusive in rugby league history, delivering the highest impact and lasting legacy within communities across the country.
Councillor Martin Smith: “It’s been a long time coming and during the last two to three years we’ve been working hard with our partners to deliver the legacy ambitions of the tournament – growing rugby league in the city, making it more inclusive and inspiring people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to get involved.”
In the last year, Sheffield Eagles and the Eagles Foundation increased community activity, secured funding, established a new wheelchair team and a new women’s team which was promoted after one season.
Tag rugby league was delivered to more than 2,000 young people in the Sheffield schools and a weekly training session specifically for girls was also launched.
David Butler, Trustee of the Eagles Foundation, said: “Our aim in working with schools is to stimulate growth into the city’s community rugby league clubs, Sheffield Hawks and Sheffield Forgers, and has led to an increase in players at the targeted age group.
“It has also allowed us to launch a Sheffield Eagles girls team to accommodate players who have reached U12s age group where girls and boys no longer play rugby league together.”