Rugby League Cares has announced that Kevin Sinfield OBE has agreed to join the Board of Trustees of RL Cares, the independent charity that has responsibility for delivering welfare support to current and recently retired Rugby League players.
The former Leeds Rhinos captain will fulfil his new role as a trustee alongside his current position as defence coach for Leicester Tigers and is looking forward to helping shape and enhance the charity’s player welfare provision from 2022 and beyond.
“I always said I’d never leave the sport; it’s given me everything I’ve got and it’s really important for me to give something back,” said Sinfield.
“I understand the importance of player welfare and the work that Rugby League Cares does: it’s a wonderful organisation and I’m delighted to be joining.
“I have only been gone a few months now; I know the people involved really well, they’re doing a wonderful job.
“Rugby League as a sport is at the forefront when it comes to supporting players and past players. Is it good enough at this moment in time? That’s a challenge for all of us; we need to improve and keep getting better all the time.
“There are always going to be difficulties that sports face, particularly from a welfare perspective, but we have to try and help.
“My role as a trustee of RL Cares isn’t to drastically change anything; it’s to support and help find new ways of helping players and past players.
“Being one myself, I’d like to think I have some understanding of that journey, what it feels like and what to expect at key moments.
“There are a lot of past players older than me who have experience that we can tap into some of their thoughts and feelings as we continue with the great work that’s being done.
“I wouldn’t have got involved if I wasn’t passionate about helping and supporting people.
“We won’t always get it right – no organisation gets thing right all the time – but there is no lack of effort or commitment to support the playing community.
“That’s probably what’s happened on my journey in the last couple of years, with Rob (Burrow) in particular. I want to continue to help people, especially current and former Rugby League players.
“I’d like to thank Leicester Tigers; they’ve been incredibly supportive of this move and I can’t thank them enough.”
Tim Adams MBE, the Chairman of RL Cares, said: “We are proud to have Kevin aboard because it demonstrates two things: firstly, that he clearly believes in RL Cares and all that it does, and secondly, because it brings him back into Rugby League following his ‘transfer’ to Leicester Tigers.
“We are really looking forward to him joining us and bringing all the expertise that he has.”
Sinfield will join a Board of Trustees whose members have a diverse level of skills and experience.
Chairman Tim Adams is a retired businessman with a long and distinguished involvement in Rugby League. He was Chairman of Sheffield Eagles when they won the Challenge Cup in 1998 and was a director of Super League (Europe) from 1998 to 2002. He was also a member of the Implementation Board that reviewed and reorganised the sport’s structures in 2002. He has been the Chairman of the RL Benevolent Fund since 2004 and has been involved with RL Cares since the charity’s inception in 2011.
Jane Walton is a creative entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience working in the public, private and charitable sectors, and Chair of Education Policy of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Neville Smith brings considerable broadcasting and media knowledge from heading up Sky Sports’ coverage of Rugby League for 30 years.
Nicola Frampton is Operations Director for Domino’s UK and a former Managing Director of UK Retail at William Hill, where she led over 2,000 stores and 8,000 colleagues.
Former Wakefield MP and founder of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group, David Hinchliffe, adds political know-how.
And lawyer Karen Moorhouse, the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer, represents the sport’s governing body.