Saddleworth to host major festival on April 14.

On Sunday 13th April 2008, the very first Masters Rugby League Festival took place at Saddleworth ARLFC, attracting over a 100 players to turn out to launch the new version of the great game, Masters.

A non-competitive, modified version of Rugby League for players who have reached their 35th birthday.
Fast forward ten years and Masters will have a year of celebrations, kicking off with a Birthday Festival Day and a return to Saddleworth on April 14, where it all started.

The celebration day will also see two new organisations in Masters.

The launch of the Masters Great Britain Players Association, open to all Masters who have played for Great Britain, both home and away.

The Association aims are to help spread Masters Rugby League by fielding teams in fledgling areas and to give those who have enjoyed the honour of playing for the national side the opportunity to meet and socialise: an Annual Dinner is very much on the agenda. Details of the Association to follow.

And the highlight of the day, the planned first appearance of the Lions Association Masters team which will be selected by the Lion Association, supported by Rugby League Cares.

This is the opportunity for the great players Rugby League: those who have toured down under with England/Great Britain. They have been invited to put out a team to play the Masters version of Rugby League. Out on the pitch with these greats of the game will be an invitation team from players who have played Masters for Great Britain against New Zealand/Australia.

A mini Masters festival is also being finalised.

The day will conclude with a gala Dinner in the new clubhouse at Saddleworth ARLFC. Details will follow.

The Festival Day at Saddleworth is only the start. Each of the five national festivals have been designated 10th Anniversary Festivals with official commemorative shorts soon available on pre-order. Other commemorative items will also be available with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

“We have come a long way from that first festival in 2008,” said Masters Steering Group member Paul Field, who played in that first festival.

“We were a group of keen, veteran players wanting to experience a way to extend of playing time. The Masters rule modifications were part of a really steep learning curve!”