London Skolars visit Parliament

12th June 2013

On Tuesday 11th June, London Skolars joined the three other southern-based Championship One sides Gloucestershire All Golds, Hemel Stags and Oxford Rugby League in a visit the Houses of Parliament to discuss the development of professional rugby league in the south of England.

The four clubs have formed what is informally known as the Southern Group and work together off the field to share best practice and collaborate wherever possible.   They were invited by the Parliamentary Rugby League Group to one of its monthly meetings to speak to Members of Parliament about how this works in practice, what lessons have been learned, and how the game is developing through their efforts.

Representing Skolars was Paul Thorman who said “it is always a pleasure to speak with rugby league supporters, and to do so in such a setting is terrific.  Over the years, we’ve heard a lot about the work of the Group and its Members so to have the chance to discuss the game with people who share our passion and have the position to enact change is tremendous.  I am sure that collectively we showed the Parliamentarians the challenges and rewards that come from running a professional sports club at this level.”

Skolars’ MP Lynne Featherstone showed her support: “North London and Hornsey and Wood Green in particular have a long and proud sporting tradition, and it is wonderful for us all to have professional sports clubs like London Skolars on our doorsteps.  Rugby league is widely-recognised as one of the leading community-focussed sports and with the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, has a fantastic opportunity to cement the Olympics legacy and demonstrate to the world our sporting longevity.”

Greg Mulholland MP, Chairman of the Group, said after the meeting “We have support from the likes of the RFL who provide us with excellent oversight about the current sporting landscape and rugby league’s position with in it.  But we need to understand what it means to run a club at all levels and for that reason we invited the southern group to talk to us about the issues they face, how they are overcoming them, and where we can help.  It was great to have all the clubs here and we will watch their continued growth with great interest.”

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