Age Partnership joins Rugby League icon in legacy project

With the help of Leeds Rhinos, Jamaica Rugby League and Age Partnership, Rugby League legend Jason Robinson returned to the Chapeltown area he grew up in, with a desire to introduce the sport to more children. The Leeds Rhinos Foundation joined forces with Jamaica Rugby League Association to launch the Age Partnership Schools Cup and relaunch Chapeltown Cougars.

Jason, along with Age Partnership founder and Leeds Rhinos president Andrew Thirkill, have come together to sponsor 10 primary schools in the local area with kit for two school teams meaning over 200 children will have the opportunity to play rugby league.

Robinson explained: “This project is immensely close to my heart having grown up here in Chapeltown. It’s great for me to be able to work together with Age Partnership to launch the Schools Cup. Also being here with the Jamaican Rugby League squad is a fantastic opportunity to inspire so many children who have not had the chance to run around in the fresh air during the Covid pandemic, but can now laugh and smile with their friends and take part in the game that we all love.”

Andrew Thirkill added: “It is huge for us as a club at Leeds Rhinos to make sure we can get rugby league into these diverse communities, not just here but throughout the country. We have the ability, through the sport, to touch so many lives in these areas and show that there is a pathway for everyone.”

“Bringing the sport into schools in what has historically been a very challenged area was a huge priority for me as the President of Leeds Rhinos. My dream is to see many more children from across the north and the many other diverse areas in the UK playing rugby league and maybe see a few of them making it onto the International stage at some point in the not-too-distant future.”

The Age Partnership Schools Cup will take place over the first school term in the lead-up to this year’s Rugby League World Cup and every child will have the opportunity to play at Headingley in September. The children will also play at Jordan Turner’s testimonial game at Castleford Tigers where they will all receive certificates.