Leeds community rugby league club hit lottery jackpot

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Leeds club Stanningley are celebrating a lottery win.

The club - where a host of top players including Leeds Rhinos legends Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Jamie Peacock began playing rugby - have been awarded £10,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s community emergency fund.

The money will go towards meeting fixed costs - including utility bills, insurance and core staff who are unable to be furloughed - during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as cover some of the club’s losses from March 1.

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Stanningley’s treasurer Tom Bell said the club, whose first team play in amateur rugby league’s flagship National Conference - are “delighted” with the award.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan takes to the field for his final game last year, with his sons in Stanningley kit. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Jamie Jones-Buchanan takes to the field for his final game last year, with his sons in Stanningley kit. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan takes to the field for his final game last year, with his sons in Stanningley kit. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

“Being a chartered accountant by profession, I am extremely aware of the many challenges individuals, businesses and organisations face in this current climate,” Bell said.

“The crisis has put a huge strain on the finances and cash flow requirements of the club.

“Our revised projections show a loss of income in the period March to July 2020 of around £100,000.

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“The money received will enable us to meet the demand of fixed costs in the short term, which will then hopefully keep the club in a very good position to continue being successful in the future and for the next generation.”

Stanningley product Jamie Peacock. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.Stanningley product Jamie Peacock. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Stanningley product Jamie Peacock. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Bell added: "We have worked closely with Sport England and the RFL, and the club has received valuable support and guidance from both bodies, which has been fantastic.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s chief executive, said support is essential for clubs hit by the coronavirus crisis.

“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and

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physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis, but to be in a position to thrive again in the future,” he said.

“The £20m community emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players, is part of a multi-million pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and well being.

“We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to Stanningley SARLC to help it through these extremely challenging times.”

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