SWINTON LIONS TO STEP UP EFFORTS IN THE COMMUNITY

20 February 2019

Swinton Lions are to step up efforts in the community for 2019 and beyond.

Discussions have taken place amongst key stake holders connected to Swinton Lions RLFC to establish and implement a co-ordinated community strategy for 2019 and beyond.

The Lions already have a well-established relationship with the pro-active Independent Swinton Supporters’ Trust under the chairmanship of Stephen Parker. The club also has a flourishing partnership with Neil Hayden’s Rugby College based at Salford Sports Village, which fields the club’s Level 3 Academy team under the title TRC Swinton Lions. In addition, within the constitution of its own Community Foundation, the club possesses a mechanism to deliver its community aims and aspirations.

Swinton chairman Andy Mazey, Lions’ Operations Director Steve Wild, along with Stephen Parker and Neil Hayden met this week to discuss ways of maximising resources and co-ordinating the structure of these strands. The aim being to implement a joint community strategy under the umbrella of the Swinton Lions name.

Broadly these joint aims are to provide health benefits, sporting opportunities and educational opportunities to the people of Swinton, Salford and Manchester as a whole, whilst advancing and preserving the heritage of the Lions. Targeted outcomes are not just the delivery these important public benefits, but also to encourage another generation of Swinton Lions supporters.

In practical terms a crucial aspect of these aims is to deliver a community stadium at Agecroft alongside another key partner, Moorside Rangers AFC, with whom planning is continuing and early stages of works have already begun with the support of Salford Council and the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham. Other areas being targeted are strengthening of relationships with local community rugby clubs, the possible launch of a Swinton Lionesses girls’/women’s team, and a Swinton Lions reserve team, potentially in partnership with another professional club to provide greater player pathway opportunities for young talented local players. The club’s aims however are not elitist, and it’s intended to work closely with many local community-based organisations across a variety of fields.

Resources, however, are at present stretched, but with a co-ordinated joint effort, and with the assistance of volunteers, it is aimed to present a meaningful Swinton Lions Community Development Plan over the next 12 months. We have worked extremely hard over the last eighteen months to address the immediate issues and put ourselves in a position as a club to be able to start to really focus on the big picture.

Lions’ Chairman Andy Mazey explained: “By pulling together all available resources and partners, whilst simultaneously identifying external funding and support, we are confident that we will now start to drive long term growth through outcomes and impact. Working collaboratively is the key to maximising opportunities, and these partnerships tie up perfectly. I would urge anyone who can offer some professional support on a voluntary basis to get in touch and help us drive our wider community ambitions.”

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