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09 April 2020

Swinton Lions and the Lions Foundation launch a Community Club Partnership Program with Belfast Eagles.

Swinton Lions RLFC and the Lions Foundation would proudly like to launch our Community Club Partnership Program.

This initiative will offer support in the following areas to Community Clubs:

  • Governance and Operational Management
  • Coaching CPD and Training Opportunities
  • Player Pathway Development
  • Resource Support and Equipment.

We would like to announce that Belfast Eagles will be our first partner club in this new and innovative program.

Damian Ridpath, the Lions’ Director of Development explained, “This is the first partnership of several which will be announced over the coming weeks. It is really important to Swinton Lions and the Lions Foundation that we support the community game in both our traditional catchment area, and areas that would normally be classed as non-traditional for Rugby League.

This program is innovative in the support and expertise that can be offered to a Community Club and covers a range of areas to ensure a community club has all the correct systems in place to not only sustain its operations but to grow and develop as well.

We are proud to announce Belfast Eagles as the first partner club within this project and we look forward to establishing a mutually supportive and long-term relationship with them.”

Belfast Eagles RLFC founder Peter Robson added, “The Belfast Eagles Mini and Youth Rugby League Club are really excited to be part of this partnership with Swinton Lions. Being a newly established club, we are really looking forward to gaining a lot from this professional club who have a wealth of skills and experience gained in their over 150 years of existence. 

“Working with Swinton Lions we know is the best opportunity that our club has in order to grow the sport at grass roots level in Northern Ireland and working collaboratively with them we mean to develop our all the children and young people wanting to take part and get involved in this energetic, fast pace game

On behalf of the Swinton Lions Board, Operations Director Steve Wild added, “Our partnership with Belfast Eagles is an exciting development for all concerned. It is I believe illustrative of our new strategy and determination to bring the Swinton Lions name and brand to a much wider audience, and at the same time promote the sport of Rugby League as a whole.

Over the coming seasons we will look to strengthen the relationship not only between the Lions and the Eagles, but hopefully also between our home cities which of course already have strong transport and cultural links.

Swinton Head Coach Stuart Littler said, After speaking to Damian, our performance team fully buy in to the new vision for the development of our club.

“By partnering with significant community partners we will hopefully grow the player pool in which we can recruit from.

“We can welcome the first partners at Belfast who are also part of an ongoing Rugby League Ireland domestic programme. I know first hand of the quality of athlete there is available across the Irish Sea and I look forward to the next announcements of partners clubs within this new initiative.

“As an organisation we are looking to grow organically both on and off the field.  Increasing our player pool whilst also assisting others in their development can only help us in getting to where we need to be.”


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