By Phil Caplan, Date: 6/11/13

The Rugby League European Federation has been awarded a record grant from the European Commission’s Sport Unit for its Leadership Devolution Project, which will begin in 2014 and is co-funded by the RLEF and RLIF.

The European Union has committed €196.000 to the 17-nation project while the two governing bodies will invest over €130.000 into the scheme. The RLEF bid was one of 14 selected projects out of 135 submissions. 

“The EU has recognised the serious and successful way in which the RLEF has worked with its members to produce more competent and independent organisations and key staff,” said RLEF General Manager Danny Kazandjian. “This project supports our strategy to empower and strengthen our membership corps ensuring our governing bodies are equipped with knowledgeable, competent and qualified leaders able to disseminate the sport’s on and off field values while ensuring governance best practice.”

The project divides Europe into five sections that will result in at least 40 new coach and match official tutors and between 100-250 new Level 1 coaches and match officials. It is also supported by the governmental sports agencies of four of the senior members, the French Ministry of Youth and Sport, Sport England, Sport Scotland and Sport Wales. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build on gains made as part of the RLEF Technical Strategy, giving the beneficiary nations more in-the-role experience, while introducing the programmes to new countries,” added Kazandjian, who presented results of the Governance Foundation Project to the EU Sport Forum in Vilnius at the beginning of October. 

He continued, “The EU’s new Erasmus Plus programme dovetails perfectly with RLEF focus areas and I am extremely pleased that the EC has recognised the RLEF as an effective partner. Our federation continues to provide more EU citizens with greater opportunities to participate in rugby league’s expanding European footprint.”