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Eddie

Heartlands Expansion

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

None of them were heartlands clubs. 

They were in the north last time I looked


sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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5 minutes ago, DEANO said:

They were in the north last time I looked

Just being in 'the north' does not make it heartlands. Rugby league is an irrelevance in Glossop and that is virtually directly between Salford, Sheffield and Huddersfield and only a 20 min bus ride from where Oldham will play this season (I think that they are back at Bower Fold again).

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23 minutes ago, DEANO said:

They were in the north last time I looked

Heartlands are roughly the area where the original split happened. Chorley, while near Wigan, isn’t in the heartlands and neither are Bolton or Liverpool, or Barnsley etc etc. 

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3 hours ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Apart from obscure Yorkshire dales towns like Leyburn and Settle and the North Yorkshire coast of Whitby and Scarborough. Yorkshire is as about covered as it can be, general sport fans will go to Leeds Rhinos we have been trying to get them to York Knights from Harrogate, slowly working. Not sure on the other pennines but other than the  already mentioned there i think its in a similar position 

Catterick Crusaders and RL have a lot of potential in North Yorkshire, particularly as football is a shambles at youth level. The Garrison could be a hotbed of the game.

I wouldn't call Leyburn or Settle obscure either. Quaint maybe but obscure?

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6 hours ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Apart from obscure Yorkshire dales towns like Leyburn and Settle and the North Yorkshire coast of Whitby and Scarborough. Yorkshire is as about covered as it can be.

Leyburn (Wensleydale RUFC) and Settle (North Ribblesdale RUFC) - not to mention Grassington (Wharfedale RUFC) - manage to support thriving rugby union clubs, however obscure you imagine the towns to be. Scarborough and Whitby, too.

As for Yorkshire being "about as covered as it can be". Really? Save for pockets of activity in places like Catterick, Scarborough, Yarm and York, North Yorkshire (including the northern Dales running east-west between the coast and Skipton/Settle/Sedbergh, and much of Teesside south of the Tees) is pretty much alien territory for rugby league. Is any rugby league played in Harrogate? Or Malton? Or Middlesbrough? Or Pickering? Or Redcar? Or Skipton? Or Tadcaster? I believe Northallerton Stallions ARLFC relocated to Catterick, leaving the former town a rugby league-free zone.

East Yorkshire doesn't fare terribly well, either. Apart from Beverley, Hull and Goole, what is there? Selby packed up. Is there any rugby league activity in Bridlington any more? Has there ever been any in Driffield, Hornsea or Pocklington?

I'm afraid in many parts of Yorkshire, rugby league (on the whole a game played in and around the urban bits of West Yorkshire) is as unfamiliar as it is in most places south of the Mersey-Don-Humber line.

Edited by Hopping Mad
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5 minutes ago, NOS4A2 said:

As someone not from the heartlands, can anyone explain why Rugby is so niche in terms of its appeal in areas described as the heartlands. To a layman, "The Heartlands" will refer to the M62 corridor, but in reality of the major cities along that road, none have Rugby as the biggest sport. Why is it that we have sides like Castleford, Wakefield, dewsbury, Leeds & Featherstone all a stones throw apart, but the area they are in is still dominated by football?  It's not like these clubs are new..... They've a century of tradition.... How come the game seems to have stagnated in its main areas.? If we could figure this out, then maybe repair from the inside followed by further development in the heartlands is what we should look at?? 

Subtle, very subtle.

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2 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

Leyburn (Wensleydale RUFC) and Settle (North Ribblesdale RUFC) - not to mention Grassington (Wharfedale RUFC) - manage to support thriving rugby union clubs, however obscure you imagine the towns to be. Scarborough and Whitby, too.

As for Yorkshire being "about as covered as it can be". Really? Save for pockets of activity in places like Catterick, Scarborough, Yarm and York, North Yorkshire (including the northern Dales running east-west between the coast and Skipton/Settle/Sedbergh, and much of Teesside south of the Tees) is pretty much alien territory for the rugby league. Is any rugby league played in Harrogate? Or Malton? Or Middlesbrough? Or Pickering? Or Redcar? Or Skipton? Or Tadcaster? I believe Northallerton Stallions ARLFC relocated to Catterick, leaving the former town a rugby league-free zone.

East Yorkshire doesn't fare terribly well, either. Apart from Beverley, Hull and Goole, what is there? Selby packed up. Is there any rugby league activity in Bridlington any more? Has there ever been any in Driffield, Hornsea or Pocklington?

I'm afraid in many parts of Yorkshire, rugby league (on the whole a game played in and around the urban bits of West Yorkshire) is as unfamiliar as it is in most places south of the Mersey-Don-Humber line.

   It seems the Minister for Sport is the Selby MP,Nigel Adams.

    On Saturday he was in attendance at the Bradford City soccer game - at Bradford.

   The previous Minister for Sport,Tracey Crouch,was based down south and was in attendance for a cup final at Wembley.

    I think the sport could do with a bit more support from politicians - or at least the sport could attempt to keep them onside.

    https://www.skysports.com/rugby-league/news/12207/10880005/salford-fans-backed-by-mps-in-fight-to-prevent-name-change 

   I await how 2020 pans out to see if the sport embraces the democratically elected new sets of MP's. 

   Whether the RFL or the 2021 World Cup group makes the best efforts to garner their support.

    The Newcastle Thunder footprint is moving northwards and southwards.They appear to be covering more mileage outwards than heartland clubs.They have also moved westwards into Cumbria.


     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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4 minutes ago, Angelic Cynic said:

 The Newcastle Thunder footprint is moving northwards and southwards.They appear to be covering more mileage outwards than heartland clubs.They have also moved westwards into Cumbria.

Newcastle are doing a great job. I was aware they'd started tapping into the (relatively) rich rugby league talent seam in west Cumbria. Very sensible! I don't know for sure but I imagine Thunder have played a fairly big role in establishing the North East amateur competition, which seems to be going from strength to strength. Be nice if the Newcastle and York semi-pro clubs could somehow join the dots between Tyneside, County Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire.

Edited by Hopping Mad
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22 minutes ago, NOS4A2 said:

As someone not from the heartlands, can anyone explain why Rugby is so niche in terms of its appeal in areas described as the heartlands. To a layman, "The Heartlands" will refer to the M62 corridor, but in reality of the major cities along that road, none have Rugby as the biggest sport. Why is it that we have sides like Castleford, Wakefield, dewsbury, Leeds & Featherstone all a stones throw apart, but the area they are in is still dominated by football?  It's not like these clubs are new..... They've a century of tradition.... How come the game seems to have stagnated in its main areas.? If we could figure this out, then maybe repair from the inside followed by further development in the heartlands is what we should look at?? 

Probably more accurate to say rugby (league) IS the biggest sport in places like Batley, Dewsbury, Castleford, Featherstone and Wakefield. Halifax, too - certainly when the town's semi-pro team are doing well.

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52 minutes ago, NOS4A2 said:

As someone not from the heartlands, can anyone explain why Rugby is so niche in terms of its appeal in areas described as the heartlands. To a layman, "The Heartlands" will refer to the M62 corridor, but in reality of the major cities along that road, none have Rugby as the biggest sport. Why is it that we have sides like Castleford, Wakefield, dewsbury, Leeds & Featherstone all a stones throw apart, but the area they are in is still dominated by football?  It's not like these clubs are new..... They've a century of tradition.... How come the game seems to have stagnated in its main areas.? If we could figure this out, then maybe repair from the inside followed by further development in the heartlands is what we should look at?? 

Having four SL and five championship teams in West Yorks doesn’t suggest the game is stagnating there to me. 

Edited by Eddie

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4 minutes ago, NOS4A2 said:

Bad choice of expression from me. If not stagnating, shall we say that in terms of attendances and commercial activity, these clubs have hit their maximum, or could they do better?  Using Leeds United is a bit unfair, but they are the biggest football side in the area and they attract 36,000 to games. Add up the average of those 9 sides and tell me they can't do better? 

Having read posts in this thread from others with more local knowledge, it would seem that the games reach is shrinking below the top tiers. My point is that maybe we need to understand why that is before we look at trying to expand? 

Comparing RL, or any sport, in this country to football is pointless, it’s a behemoth. More likely compare the RL crowds in WY to Union crowds in other areas and see how they measure up. 

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I just want to flag that the opening subject header is so inherently oxymoronic that I’m not sure it’s even possible to debate the topic properly...

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30 minutes ago, Tonka said:

I just want to flag that the opening subject header is so inherently oxymoronic that I’m not sure it’s even possible to debate the topic properly...

I knew someone would try to be clever and say that, so consider yourself suitably pedantic and self-satisfied. Fortunately everyone else knew what I meant though. 

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The emphasis on expansion needs to be on the amateur game.

A question for the game if there is any money for development officers etc-is where would it be best spent?

London,Midlands,South-West would all have strong claims,but the dramatic decline in the heartland areas certainly needs addressing.

If development officers were positioned in Halifax,Oldham and Workington for example would that be more beneficial than the former?

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6 hours ago, Ackroman said:

Catterick Crusaders and RL have a lot of potential in North Yorkshire, particularly as football is a shambles at youth level. The Garrison could be a hotbed of the game.

I wouldn't call Leyburn or Settle obscure either. Quaint maybe but obscure?

Yeah my bad obscure probably not the best of words, more meant in the context of would be hard to get a RL team in such a far out place without any heritage. Definitely Catterick could help the game, I would personally like a team out of Scarborough/Whitby too.  

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The biggest areas of expansion, particularly in the heartlands will be none traditional forms.

The heartlands are, if anything,.over saturated with pro teams, and for most people, if they want to play amateur RL there is a team near by. 

Major growth in the heartlands will come from masters, 9s and womens RL

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5 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

Leyburn (Wensleydale RUFC) and Settle (North Ribblesdale RUFC) - not to mention Grassington (Wharfedale RUFC) - manage to support thriving rugby union clubs, however obscure you imagine the towns to be. Scarborough and Whitby, too.

As for Yorkshire being "about as covered as it can be". Really? Save for pockets of activity in places like Catterick, Scarborough, Yarm and York, North Yorkshire (including the northern Dales running east-west between the coast and Skipton/Settle/Sedbergh, and much of Teesside south of the Tees) is pretty much alien territory for rugby league. Is any rugby league played in Harrogate? Or Malton? Or Middlesbrough? Or Pickering? Or Redcar? Or Skipton? Or Tadcaster? I believe Northallerton Stallions ARLFC relocated to Catterick, leaving the former town a rugby league-free zone.

East Yorkshire doesn't fare terribly well, either. Apart from Beverley, Hull and Goole, what is there? Selby packed up. Is there any rugby league activity in Bridlington any more? Has there ever been any in Driffield, Hornsea or Pocklington?

I'm afraid in many parts of Yorkshire, rugby league (on the whole a game played in and around the urban bits of West Yorkshire) is as unfamiliar as it is in most places south of the Mersey-Don-Humber line.

That's the problem with the established RU clubs and towns/villages associated with RU, they have no reason to associate themselves with Rugby League unless of benefit to them and the towns/villages are too small to be able to cover it. Harrogate doesn't have a RL team although I don't feel the interest is there in a playing sense. Rugby union in Harrogate has "Privatised" itself with the club move to where it is and it doesn't help with having a successful football scene. More could be done on the East coast, York Knights can be a recruiting ground and are starting to stretch themselves further. Supporters wise we do get a few from Harrogate going to York

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19 hours ago, Toby Chopra said:

I tend to feel it it shouldn't have to even be a question: why do we still have the distinction between pro and amateur? The game should be "open", no? 

Sure, different divisions and leagues could have different salary caps and other criteria for membership. But what is gained from a strict separation of pro and amateur?

We should open up a gangway between the pro game and amateur game and leave it up to the clubs to decide if they want to pay their players anything. 

The obvious is that some clubs are operating as pro clubs, some as amateur and they serve different functions.

Why would Hunslet parkside want to be an L1 side. They might be able to bump around at the bottom but they are millions of pounds away from being able to move any further forward from that, dont have any sort of professional infrastructure and the players are part time players playing for different reasons.

Edited by scotchy1
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3 hours ago, NOS4A2 said:

As someone not from the heartlands, can anyone explain why Rugby is so niche in terms of its appeal in areas described as the heartlands. To a layman, "The Heartlands" will refer to the M62 corridor, but in reality of the major cities along that road, none have Rugby as the biggest sport. Why is it that we have sides like Castleford, Wakefield, dewsbury, Leeds & Featherstone all a stones throw apart, but the area they are in is still dominated by football?  It's not like these clubs are new..... They've a century of tradition.... How come the game seems to have stagnated in its main areas.? If we could figure this out, then maybe repair from the inside followed by further development in the heartlands is what we should look at?? 

The heartlands - almost by definition - are those places where the game has been the favourite sporting activity for generations, where kids still get a rugby ball as a Christmas present, still play pass and catch with parents and siblings in the garden, still play touch and pass in the playgrounds and parks, where family members or neighbours have played the game at a high level, where you can chat to an ex-international on a street corner, where an encounter with almost anyone includes discussion of rugby at some point. And where being only a spectator is a long way second to the sport being a part of life. That this state of mind is less so than in the past, and becoming less so as time passes, is down to a number of factors, and yes you are right - it would be valuable to understand what those factors are.

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19 hours ago, Mr Plow said:

We have enough heartland clubs but we should be focusing on increasing participation at amateur level.

Thats what I thought this thread was about. There's quite a few towns and cities, especially in the North West, that could be targeted for expansion at amateur level. Even towns with a few clubs could be targeted to increase the amount of clubs and even strengthen some existing clubs.

Leagues such as NW Counties, Yorkshire League, Cumbria and Hull and District as well as NE League should be working with the RFL and Super League to increase playing numbers and clubs

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

I knew someone would try to be clever and say that, so consider yourself suitably pedantic and self-satisfied. Fortunately everyone else knew what I meant though. 

My only surprise is that it's taken almost a day for someone to raise the point.  Thank God I'm here!

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20 hours ago, Mr Plow said:

We have enough heartland clubs but we should be focusing on increasing participation at amateur level.

The criteria to start and operate an amateur club has become to complexed in the last 10 to 15 years.

 


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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1 hour ago, Marauder said:

The criteria to start and operate an amateur club has become to complexed in the last 10 to 15 years.

 

There have been some though, and they seem to be thriving what what I’ve read - Chorley and Goole for example. 

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