London Skolars young stars sign up for 2014 rugby league season

14th February 2014

The new season kicked off in style last weekend when more than 40 youngsters signed up for north London’s only professional rugby league club.

They met in Wood Green on Saturday to join London Skolars’ mini and junior squads for the start of the 2014 campaign.
Training for the minis teams – for Under-seven to Under-11s – starts at 10am on Saturday morning at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre in N22, and the junior team (Under-12s to Under-19s) will start subject to confirmation by the coaches.

London Skolars are one of two professional rugby league teams in London, with the first team playing in The Kingstone Press Championship One – the third tier of the national pyramid while the award-winning junior teams play in the London Junior League and have been very successful during the past two seasons.

In 2011, Skolars were named the London Junior League Club of the Year and the Haringey Celebrating Sport Club of the Year. In 2012 the 18’s won the London Youth League Grand Final, and last year the mini team was formed, while the Under-19s scooped the Haringey Celebrating Sport Youth Team of the Year award.

The club makes a commitment to develop every player, whether they are following the development pathway from Under-sevens through to the first team or simply looking to have fun and keep active within a safe and friendly learning environment.

The coaches are all UKCC-qualified, including nine parents who qualified as level one coaches two weeks ago – and all of them have CRB-enhanced disclosure.

Welcoming the youngsters and their families on Saturday, Skolars’ senior community officer Matt Cuss said: “At London Skolars we aim to provide every member of the community with an opportunity to participate in the greatest game of all – rugby league. “The last two seasons in particular have been very exciting for the club, and the credit for that success is down to the commitment of the club’s coaches, enthusiastic volunteers and our players, including their hugely supportive families.
“We’ve got a really wide range of age groups that youngsters can join, from six years old to 19, and a really good pathway that consistently produces first-team players. “That’s our ultimate goal – to establish a talent pipeline that brings players through to the first team – but we are a community club with an inclusive environment, so if kids want to come along, run around, be active and try a new sport, we’d like to include them as well.

Cuss added: “Everyone is welcome – boys and girls – as long as they are enthusiastic, willing to learn and become a valuable member of the club, take part in activities and abide by the Respect code.
“We are widely regarded within the community as a great organisation for people to come to. We can offer an alternative to football. “Rugby league is a fantastic sport – the pace and excitement of it means that people can watch it once or twice and become fans for life.
“Skolars are a small club that’s run mainly by volunteers and parents. Everyone chips in and helps out.”

Skolars’ director Hector McNeil said: “It’s great to see so many old faces and new faces here, and for people to come out and hear first-hand about what we’re doing. “We’ve had over 40 kids sign up and I expect that, as the season starts, that number will increase.”

The club has a number of plans for its mini and junior teams this season, including the possibility of a tour and hosting a primary school festival.

A new pitch is being installed in the playing fields across the road from the White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre, where the minis and juniors train, which Cuss described as a “massive opportunity” for the club.
Skolars also intend to strengthen the ties between the minis and juniors and the first team by getting senior players to run coaching sessions and by holding junior matches before each first-team fixture.
“We want the juniors and minis to be a very visible part of the club this year – more so than in previous years,” said Cuss.
Anyone who wants to join London Skolars’ mini and junior teams should contact Matt Cuss on 020 8888 8488 or at, or visit the website at

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