Girls are to be offered a Rising Stars rugby programme at Salford Red Devils for the first time.
After a tough year for the club’s Foundation, activities are kicking off again with girls being included from this summer.
Foundation director Neil Blackburn said “We have just restarted our rising stars programme.”
The foundation’s rising star programme is an elite development pathway which has so far been just for under-16s boys. The programme takes place at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford every Monday evening.
Mr Blackburn has urged people who want to get involved to register via their website.
“It is a great programme and we have some great outcomes every year.”
In June, the foundation is starting the same programme for girls, which is set to be an amazing opportunity for girls in Salford and Greater Manchester.
This programme has a wider age group, from 10 to 14 years.
The Salford Red Devils foundation has also just accepted funding for a back-to-work scheme, which is open to everyone in the community whose employment may have been affected due to covid, or are keen to get back to work.
Based at Eccles Sixth Form College, the Salford Red Devils Foundation offers a range of opportunities for everyone in Salford.
Mr Blackburn said: “The foundation was set up over 15 years ago, to give back to our community as best we can.
“We are working across sport, health and education to ensure the community has opportunities that they may have not had previously.”
The foundation programmes cover support on mental health awareness, family health, and employment opportunities, as well as searching for the next rugby league star.
The past year has been tough because nearly all its work is usually delivered face-to-face.
Mr Blackburn said: “We had to transfer a lot of our activities online, which was challenging.”
He added: “We do a lot of work in schools across Greater Manchester, so with schools being closed for the majority of the pandemic, it has been worrying.”
The foundation was keen to help Salford throughout the pandemic, so has been providing food packages and medical supplies to the community’s most vulnerable households.
Mr Blackburn added that the foundation was one of the ”lucky ones” during the pandemic and ”received some really great support” from the community throughout lockdown.
As restrictions ease, the foundation is slowly resuming activities.
The foundation would love more Salfordians to be involved in its work.