BARLA Chair Sue Taylor admits to having been stunned on being informed that she will become the Rugby Football League’s Vice-President in July next year.
Taylor, 65, will be in post for 18 months rather than for the usual twelve months tenure, partly to reflect the unique circumstances of the last two Covid-impacted years and the delaying of the Rugby League World Cup.
She will team up with Clare Balding OBE, whose role as RFL President has, for similar reasons, been extended to December 2022. And Taylor, whose female predecessors as Vice Chair are Kath Hetherington and Pat Crawshaw, is set to make history as she and Balding will be the first female duo in the key positions.
Taylor, who has been Chair of BARLA since 2013 (and who will oversee the Association’s 50th anniversary in 2023) has been involved in grassroots Rugby League for some four decades, in addition to serving on the Community Board.
She is a lifelong inhabitant of Huddersfield – the birthplace of both the RFL and BARLA – where she lives with husband John and granddaughter Chloe and said: “I was shocked and taken aback when told I was being nominated for the position and I accepted it on behalf of myself and BARLA.
“When I take up the post I will, as with everything, give it my all, with the support of my husband John and my family.”
She added: “It is an honour, and I look forward to working with both Clare Balding and Mike Smith, whose position I will taking over, and who will have a new role as Deputy Vice President.
“I’m sure that both Clare and Mike will be able to help me make a success of the role and guide me through the hard work required, which I’m used to with BARLA.”
BARLA Vice-Chair Steve Manning said: “On behalf of myself and the Board of Management I congratulate Sue.
“It is an honour not only for her but for BARLA. She has great support from husband John and granddaughter Chloe and is retired in name only as she works not 24/7 but 48/7 on behalf of BARLA to make it what it is today, with the work it does with the RFL and its own constituents.
“Eighteen months of hard work are coming up for her but, as ever, she will make sure that she is prepared for it.”
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