Barrow Raiders has set up a new Community Foundation to support Rugby League in South Cumbria.
The Foundation brings together representatives of the Raiders, local amateur clubs and referees, schools, the RFL and Barrow Sports Council.
The new Foundation hopes to build on the success of the club’s community scheme which has been funded mainly by the Rugby Football League.
RFL funding for community and school rugby in Furness finished earlier this year, potentially leaving a huge gap in support to the local rugby league community. The new Foundation will run alongside the Club but will have its own independent committee. This will allow the Foundation to apply for funding which is not available to the club.
The chair of the Foundation is Tony Callister (Barrow Sports Council), Karen Scarr (Raiders Supporters Club) is secretary with the Rugby Shop’s John Spoor the Treasurer. Keith Nutter is the Raiders Board member on the Foundation.
The Foundation has already developed a few projects and they are bringing in ex Raiders Community Officer Al Goodings to deliver the projects.
Whit half term sees a Holiday Camp at Craven Park, the Foundation has run some Street Sports sessions in Hindpool and Ormsgill (funded by Barrow Sports Council) and the Foundation is supporting the Dean Marwood Trophy schools event at Craven Park. The Foundation is also hoping to announce plans to support women’s rugby and tag ruby in the next few weeks.
Foundation Chair Tony Callister says the Foundation is a positive way forward in the face of financial difficulties.
“As RFL funding has been cut, the easy thing would be to step back and do nothing. The Raiders can’t afford to employ anyone directly without funding. But together with local partners, we hope to build on the great work of the last few years. The creation of the Foundation opens up opportunities not available to the Raiders as a professional club.”