December 10, 2015 | Community News
Young rugby league players at a West Yorkshire community club have at last got their own changing room thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Banks Community Fund.
Methley Warriors ARLFC is based at the village’s Church Lane Rugby Fields and has around 120 members aged between six and 17, most of whom are drawn from the local area.
Until now, the teams have had to share facilities with the local football team, but thanks to the funding provided by developer Banks Property, via the Banks Community Fund, a new portable changing room has been installed at the ground.
Methley Warriors ARLFC was started 15 years ago by coach Andrew Ward, who was playing for another club in the area and noticed that lots of their junior players weren’t getting much time on the pitch.
It currently runs teams at under 7, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 17 levels in the Yorkshire Junior League, and it is hoped that the new facilities will attract even more local young people to try out with the club.
Andrew Ward says: “The Methley Warriors’ ethos is all about participation – we try to get everyone on the pitch for the maximum possible time, which helps to improve everyone’s playing skills, increases their enthusiasm for the game, and keeps them physically active.
“We have a huge amount of help from parents and other volunteers in keeping everything running, and we’re proud that so many of our players come from the local community.
“The changing room situation was far from ideal, and with so much competition in the area, we risked losing players to other clubs that could offer better facilities.
“We’re fully self-funded, and even with all the fundraising work that players and their families do for us, we simply wouldn’t have had the money available to pay for this new changing room, so we’re extremely grateful to Banks Property for enabling us to go ahead.
“Having the new changing room in place is a big boost for everyone associated with the club, and we’re hopeful that we’ll get more local young people giving rugby league a try as a result of what we will have to offer them.”
Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at the Banks Group, adds: “Community sports clubs play a crucial role in teaching their young players about teamwork, self-discipline and physical well-being as well as about their sports.
“Methley Warriors is a fantastic example of just how much can be achieved through the dedication of players, coaches, parents and volunteers, and we’re very pleased to be helping them improve the facilities they can offer.”
Anyone interested in playing for Methley Warriors should contact Andrew Ward on 07769 685756.
The Banks Community Fund is administered by the County Durham Community Foundation and provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of both operational and proposed Banks Group projects. Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.