The National Lottery has strengthened its commitment to community rugby league after announcing a partnership with the upcoming Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), aimed at delivering positive social impact.
As an official partner of both the RLWC2021 and its CreatedBy Capital Grants Programme, the National Lottery will contribute a substantial amount of investment to both the tournament and the associated community rugby league scene.
Delivered in collaboration with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Sport England, the CreatedBy Capital Grants Programme is dedicated to ‘improving the environments where rugby league takes place’.
“Every day, The National Lottery and its players make a huge difference to communities across the UK – and have been doing so since 1994,” said Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot.
“Sports, such as Rugby League, which have such a connection to the local community, make a huge difference to individuals and society as a whole. I am proud that The National Lottery is able to play such a key role in supporting the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and the wider community after such a tough year – while, at the same time, being able to give back to National Lottery players who make all of this possible.”
Capital Grants Programme measures will include investments in facilities and equipment to enable ‘accessible and welcoming environments and a legacy in local communities’.
The new partnership aims to utilise National Lottery funding to strengthen the programme and allow RLWC2021 to deliver high-value projects to community rugby league clubs, which like many other grassroots sports organisations have been hard hit by the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RLWC2021 Chief Executive, Jon Dutton, added: “This is another significant moment for our trailblazing tournament. Local communities have faced significant challenges during the pandemic, so the opportunity to deliver good news and look to the horizon is uplifting.
“The ability to make a difference to people’s lives as well as supporting the future of grassroots Rugby League has always remained our mission, and this partnership further enhances our promise to put people, place and civic pride at the very heart of the event.
“We thank The National Lottery and look forward to working with them on the journey to the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup later this year.”
The announcement builds on the National Lottery’s prior commitment to rugby league investment, having taken on the lead sponsorship of the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Women’s and Girl’s Rugby League in March 2021.
As a result of Camelot’s partnership with the two organisations, lottery players have the chance to win tickets for major fixtures and mid-season international matches, including VIP tickets, financed via a National Lottery promotional fund.
“We are delighted to be hosting the world’s premier international Rugby League tournament, which will provide much excitement and entertainment as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic,” remarked Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston.
“The National Lottery delivers for so many good causes around the country, so I welcome their involvement as major sponsors. This partnership will provide significant long-term support to the sport including infrastructure and equipment for Rugby League loving communities up and down the country.”
Camelot is currently engaged in a bidding contest with other operators to continue managing the UK National Lottery, with Allwyn – the UK corporate identity of Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Group – its primary competitor.