Rugby League Cares is working with inspirational individuals to provide opportunities to develop the game and encourage participation, particularly in groups currently under represented in the sport.

RL Cares runs a small scale grants programme to develop this work, which has a range of benefits, both social and health related. The grants programme is targeted at clubs and the volunteers who lead them.

People like Martin Coyd, the Chairman of Medway Dragons based in Gillingham in Kent. Pictured far right at Leeds Rhinos delivering the first Mental health first aid session State of Mind 310 MHFA Leeds

Martin is one of the many inspirational volunteers that RL Cares works with. He was one of the key figures in establishing Army Rugby league in the 1990’s and earlier this month he was presented with the Mike Gregory Spirit of Rugby League Award for his contribution to the sport.

Martin established Medway Dragons Rugby League, which is a major force for the sport in London and the south-east. The club boasts teams from Under 6 – Masters as well as its own Wheelchair RL team.

RL Cares is supporting Martin and his work in a number of ways. For example Martin is working, in line with the great work being undertaken by State of Mind, on raising awareness of mental health issues and is volunteering and delivering Mental Health First Aid Training to community clubs throughout the game. As part of this RL Cares is providing funding for course materials used during the training, which are then provided to the clubs as an ongoing resource.

RL Cares has also provided grant assistance to Medway Dragons to help the club establish its Wheelchair RL team. With strong support from Medway Council excellent facilities for Wheelchair RL have been developed and with a donation from Mazars LLP, RL Cares was able to provide a significant grant to assist Medway deliver the Festival of World Cups Wheelchair Rugby League tournament, held this summer ahead of RLWC2013.The tournament was an outstanding success, with paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson presenting the trophy to the winners of a dramatic final, which saw France narrowly defeat England in front of a sold out crowd.

Martin personifies the individuals that RL Cares is proud to support. He has spent a career breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for people to play and benefit from Rugby League. His achievements are many in the sport and as a result many hundreds of people are now engaged, participating and supporting Rugby League. RL Cares was established to support people in the game, especially those who most need assistance. It is a privilege to be able to get behind inspirational characters like Martin, to provide some assistance and financial support, so that they can go on and deliver remarkable outcomes for the sport.

In a partnership with League Weekly each week during RLWC2013 there will be a feature on the different work of Rugby League Cares – and profits from the new online edition will be shared with the charity. The new digital edition of League Weekly is available at