Ten Rugby League clubs sign up to new boardroom diversity project

TEN professional Rugby League clubs will work with the RFL in a bid to diversify their boardrooms.

The RFL last week announced a ground-breaking partnership with executive search firm Inclusive Boards, who specialise in supporting organisations to become more inclusive through greater board diversity.

Through the Rugby League Club Board Diversity Project an initial ten clubs, including Super League sides Huddersfield Giants, Salford Red Devils and Wakefield Trinity, will aim to broaden and strengthen the skills, knowledge and expertise within their boardrooms.

Also involved in the project are Championship sides Barrow Raiders, Halifax Panthers, Sheffield Eagles, Swinton Lions and Widnes Vikings, plus Hunslet and Midlands Hurricanes of League One.

Inclusive Boards will work alongside all of the participating clubs, auditing their current needs and the work already done by each to become more diverse before offering training, guidance and support and recruiting a pool of diverse candidates for each club.

“Rugby League is a sport that takes great pride in its history of diversity and representation at the highest level,” said the RFL’s inclusion lead, Ben Abberstein.

“The Club Board Diversity Project aims to ensure that this is present at leadership levels. 

“This project is another important part of our TACKLE IT inclusion strategy and a massive step forward for the game – a step that is only made possible by the clubs’ commitment to being representative of their communities.”

Samuel Kasumu, a co-founder of Inclusive Boards, added: “We’re proud to work with Rugby Football League and to be at the forefront of positive change in the sports sector. 

“We firmly believe that this programme will encourage more people to get involved with sport, both recreationally and professionally.”

Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis said of his club’s involvement: “To be involved with an initiative like this is a positive step forward for the club and the sport in general.

“I’m looking forward to the input that Inclusive Boards will have on guiding us in the right direction and making positive recommendations that reflects the communities we live in and work with.”

Salford director Joanne Hawkins said the Red Devils were keen to “widen the skills and knowledge of our board, while reflecting the true inclusivity and diversity of the City of Salford.”