The RFL welcomes the Government’s new strategy, ‘Sporting Future – An Active Nation’ as an opportunity to further join up all the ways to be involved in physical activity and sport; from playing to volunteering, working, hosting and watching major events.

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “This an ambitious strategy for sport at all levels, which requires integrated working across all Government departments and delivery partners if we are to create a truly active nation. The RFL is ready to play its part in delivering the Government’s bold objectives.

“The RFL and the Rugby League foundations already operate in a partnership environment. Rugby League clubs are at the heart of their communities, delivering benefits far beyond traditional sport.

“Additionally, our major events continue to make significant economic contributions in city regions and nationally.

“We are delighted that the Government is supporting a bid by the UK for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, bringing another world class event to the country and extending the economic impact of the sport’s flagship events.”

The new strategy emphases the need for publically funded sport and physical activity to provide evidence of lasting value to individuals and society – better physical and mental health; individual, social and community development; and economic development.

It also requires sports organisations and partners to attract additional commercial revenues and to deliver opportunities that are right for the end user.

Sports bodies and partners must use data, insight and technology to improve their reach to under-represented groups – women, people with disabilities and people in lower socio-economic groups.

Sport England’s remit is widened to oversee children’s physical activity from the age of five (currently 14) – creating a renewed focus on physical activity and sport inside and outside of school.

“The RFL is particularly pleased to see the clear acknowledgement that sport is about so much more than taking part.

“Sport, especially team sport, addresses multiple agendas from community cohesion to training and workforce development.

“At the same time as a nation we must not shy away from the inactivity crisis.”

“Our team and our partners, will continue to work hard to give participants, both new and established, a great way to get involved in Rugby League that’s right for them.

“Everyone in our sport wants to see more people enjoying the physical and mental health benefits associated with playing Rugby League, as well as the great social benefits of playing in a team and being part of a club.

“We know that Rugby League is an outstanding sport to play and to watch, and we want to ensure it is the best possible environment for volunteers and everyone working in the game.”

Additional strategies will be developed to support workforce development, coaching and volunteering as well as driving excellence in the governance of publically funded sports organisations.

The impact of sports programmes will be measured in a new way, with an Active Lives framework replacing the long-running Active People Survey.

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