This week signals the end of the school year for the majority of schools which allows us to reflect upon the successes of the ‘Building the Future’ strategy this year. The Club have been working hard with the Salford Red Devils Foundation to inspire school pupils from across the region to become the next generation of Salford Red Devils players and fans.
The ‘Building the Future’ strategy was launched in March 2021 to work with schools and community clubs from across Greater Manchester to raise the profile of the Club and the sport of rugby league. We aim to increase participation of school children in rugby league, whilst providing a top-class pathway programme for boys and girls who aspire to play for Salford Red Devils. The strategy also works with schools to raise pupil achievement whilst promoting physical and mental health and wellbeing.
One feature of the strategy has been to invite schools to attend designated ‘Building the Future’ games. Since the beginning of this academic year, we have had five ‘Building the Future’ games. In total this year, we have welcomed over 3,500 children, teachers and coaches to watch the ‘Building the Future’ Betfred Super League games, many of whom were experiencing their first taste of live sport. Over 100 schools from across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire have brought groups to the games.
The Salford Red Devils Official School Partner programme has seen 95 schools sign up since its launch. Our Official Partner schools can access a range of programmes delivered by the Salford Red Devils Foundation such as rugby league coaching sessions for their students, teacher training sessions, health and wellbeing programmes, tickets for Betfred Super League games and player visits to schools amongst other benefits.
Throughout the 21/22 academic year, Salford Red Devils Foundation have continued to deliver its highly commended schools delivery programme throughout Greater Manchester. It has been our pleasure to deliver high quality provision of dance, karate, self defence, multi-sport, EYFS, gymnastics, athletics, football and, of course, rugby league, to Partner and Premium Partner schools, ensuring that the children get access to our elite level coaches and visits from Salford Red Devils first team players.
Salford Red Devils Foundation has delivered over 60 rugby league festivals, with 68 individual schools taking part. Activities are open to boys and girls which has seen more than 2000 individual school children take part in rugby league activities this year alone.
Paul Trainor, Salford Red Devils Executive Director, said: “We are delighted with the progress of the ‘Building the Future’ strategy. It is our aim to make a real difference to the staff and pupils in schools, and in turn the communities those schools serve.
“The players from our men’s and women’s teams are fantastic role models who continue to inspire the young people from the schools engaging with the ‘Building the Future’ strategy. I would also like to recognise the great work of the Salford Red Devils Foundation in delivering the in-school programmes and rugby league festivals as a key part of the strategy.”
Salford Red Devils Foundation Director, Neil Blackburn, commented: “Working with schools, increasing participation and spreading the word of rugby league in the local area, is very important to us. The children who engage love the game and hopefully we can support them into local community playing opportunities after the school experience.
“The great work that our team deliver in the schools is a key part of our overall community delivery, and as a community club we strive to provide access to high quality activities for the whole local community. We are constantly developing our programmes to ensure that the local needs are met and we strive to continually develop exciting partnerships to further enhance our reach and impact.”
On behalf of the players, staff and coaches at Salford Red Devils and the Salford Red Devils Foundation, we would like to take this opportunity to wish pupils and staff at all of our ‘Building the Future’ School Partners, an enjoyable and restful Summer holiday. We look forward to being back working with you in September.