The junior Rugby League team ‘transcending boundaries’ with diverse team’s cup success

A QUICK-LEARNING Bradford team are eyeing further progress in the RFL’s flagship inspiresport Champion Schools competition after success in a Yorkshire final less than six months after their formation.

The girls’ Year 7 (Under 13) team from St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College were winners against Hull’s Archbishop Sentamu Academy, a renowned Rugby League-playing school, at Featherstone Rovers’ Millennium Stadium.

Now they are through to the national stages, in a big spur for the Keighley-based Community Lions Foundation, which is aiming to develop Rugby League in a string of schools in the Bradford Metropolitan District.

The foundation see the sport as helping them in their aim of transforming young lives, breaking down barriers and addressing anti-social behaviour by working with a diverse range of ages, ethnicities and abilities.

A number of the St Bede’s and St Joseph’s team come from communities with little history of participating in team sports, yet the novices have taken to Rugby League under the guidance of PE teacher Heather Broadley.

The Community Lions Foundation have also hailed the input of the RFL’s national player development manager Phil Jones.

“Heather has poured her heart into the girl’s Rugby League initiative. Her commitment knows no bounds, and her impact on these young athletes is immeasurable,” explained head of foundation Saima Hussain.

“Likewise, Phil has been a guiding light. His wisdom and support have shaped our team’s strategy and mindset.

“Our team is a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds. These girls respect each other’s traditions and religions, proving that Rugby League transcends boundaries.

“Now the journey continues, and our girls are ready to take on the best schools from across the country.”