2013 London Rugby League Awards – Ian Ackley and Judd Greehalgh Recognised

Two major contributors to London Skolars 2013 campaign were rewarded for their hard work and commitment when the 2103 London Rugby League awards took place at Glow, Bluewater’s purpose built events venue in Kent last Wednesday.

In what caps off a fantastic season for U19’s Second Rower Judd Greenhalgh, he was named U19 Man of Steel.

Judd arrived at the club at the beginning of the season with his twin brother Micheal and their impact in the U19’s squad was immediate. Strong and powerful in defence, with an exceptionally quick turn of pace for a big man, some of his bone-crunching hits and strong carries on the fringes were very much the difference for the Skolars in many games and Judd soon became the cornerstone of a very impressive U19’s pack.

His performances in the U19’s were rewarded with a first team debut away to Rochdale in the Northern Rail Cup. Against a very strong and experienced Rochdale side, that included many first team regulars, Judd did not look out of place and his aggressive approach to the game meant he was a real thorn in the Rochdale side all game. As Judd moves up now from the U19’s set up and begins pre-season training with the 1st team everyone at the club is excited by the potential of this young second-rower.

At the same event Ian Ackley was named as Volunteer of the Year. 

Ian gives up huge amounts of his time to help us here at Skolars. Ian and his family are involved at all levels of the club, from coaching to serving behind the bar on match-day. No job is too much for Ian and he willingly puts himself out to benefit the club.

Ian has three boys, all of who are involved in the club from Mini’s right up to the U16’s. All of the boys join their father on match day and assist club staff on the day to day running of a home game. Ian co-ordinates all the ball boys, ensures the score board is manned, and secures the changing rooms during the game. He does all this on a Sunday after he has already given up his Saturday to coach his U12’s team. Ian’s weekends are always about Skolars.

Ian is very passionate about Skolars and does all he can to make sure that we offer a great experience for any individual that comes here. He epitomises the ‘family club’ feel that we strive to create at Skolars and this award is a perfect way for Ian’s outstanding efforts over the past few years to be recognised on a wider scale.

As the 2013 Rugby League Cup reaches the semi-finals, both former Skolars bowed out of the competition at the quarter final stages.

Alex Hurst scored 11 tries in 12 games for the club in 2013 whilst on dual registration with London Broncos. He scored Scotland’s only try in a valiant performance against current World Cup holders New Zealand.

Mark Cantoni played for the club in 2004 and holds the club try scoring record with 20 (a record equalled by James Anthony this season). He broke his arm before the World Cup started, but USA’s remarkable progress through the group stages saw him make an appearance against in the defeat by Australia, the country of his birth.

England’s game against New Zealand at Wembley Stadium will be the first World Cup game in the capital since the qualifying game in 2006 between Russia and Lebanon, which was played at Skolars’ New River Stadium. The second semi-final also takes place at Wembley on Saturday at part of The Big Hit double header.

Following last week’s announcement that Leeds Rhinos and former Great Britain and England legend Jamie Peacock MBE will be a guest speaker at the 2014 Capital Challenge London Skolars are delighted to announce that Peacock will be joined by a second guest speaker at the event, none other than former Wigan Warriors and Great Britain legend Martin Offiah MBE.

Offiah, who was born in London, started his Rugby League career with Widnes in 1987 where he went on to notch up 181 tries in 141 games. When he made the move to Wigan in 1992 it was for a then world record fee of £440,000.
Offiah went on to write his name in the record books again scoring 186 tries in 159 games for Wigan before he returned to his native London in 1996 to play for the London Broncos, whom he appeared for in their 1999 Challenge Cup defeat against Leeds.

After a spell at Salford Offiah finished his Rugby career with a year at London Wasps (2001-2002).
Offiah scored 26 tries in 33 appearances for Great Britain and 8 tries in 5 appearances for England.

In recent years Offiah has become known for his work in the media, including appearances on Sky Sports and regular newspaper columns.

On announcing Martin Offiah as a second guest speaker at Capital Challenge London Skolars General Manager had this to say: “We are truly thrilled that Martin will be joining Jamie Peacock on the platform at Capital Challenge. How fitting that a Wigan legend, born here in London, should be in attendance to support this event. Having Wigan come down to play us and having a Wigan legend like Martin in attendance is fantastic news and makes the 2014 Capital Challenge a must for Rugby League fans.”

Confirming his appearance at the 2014 Capital Challenge Offiah commented “I am delighted to have been asked to speak at this great event. Whilst it’s a shame Broncos can’t appear at the Capital Challenge this time I believe bringing Wigan to play in the heart of the City can only be positive for the sport in the South and it’s a great opportunity for London Rugby League fans to see the double winners at close quarters.”

The 2014 Challenge between London Skolars and Wigan Warriors takes place at the prestigious Honourable Artillery Company’s grounds in the City of London on Friday 24th January.
Prior to the game Skolars will host a special luncheon for 200+ guests in the Prince Consort Room at the venue and guests will get the opportunity to hear from two true legends of the modern game.

Tickets for the Capital Challenge 2014 are available from London Skolars and can be purchased by visiting the club’s online ticket office by clicking here or calling 020 8888 8488.

Tickets for the pre-match luncheon, featuring guest speakers Martin Offiah and Jamie Peacock can be purchased from the club in advance only. For more information e-mail info@skolarsrl.com or call the club,

London Skolars U19’s, capped off  a memorable season by winning the prestigious Junior Team of the Year award at the Haringey Celebrating Sport Awards ceremony at Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane Stadium last night.

Pictured above, receiving the award from The Worshipful Mayor of Haringey – Cllr Sheila Peacock, is the 19’s coach Matt Cuss and two of his award winning team, Donovan Noble and Anthony Kaana. Also in the picture is Spurs and England U21 footballer Danny Rose.

This award tops off an outstanding season for the 19’s, who swept the board in all competitions, bringing the London 9’s, the League Winners, Youth Challenge Cup and Grand Final trophies to New River. On top of this 4 of the squad were rewarded for their performances in the U19’s league by making their first team debuts in the Northern Rail Cup fixture at Rochdale. Head Coach Matt Cuss commented ” I was very proud of the team’s achievements in 2013 and just to be nominated for this prestigious award showed the hard effort that was put in by everyone was being recognised. We were up against some very strong nominees so to here the team’s name read out as winners puts the icing on the cake and it should prove to be an inspiration to all the other age groups at the club in the coming seson. With hard work and dedication, which the 19’s had in abundance, anything is possible.”

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