Working on the 3 Rs . . . Roughyeds, Rugby, Roma project

Date published: Wednesday, August 5, 2015
FOR several months, Oldham RL Club has had links with the local Roma community in a series of weekly sporting activities led by the club’s community coach Danny Newall and Roma community leader Marian Guga.

Tuesday nights were for over-16s, Thursday nights for under-16s and on each night there were opportunities at Oasis Academy Oldham for people to play football, rugby, basketball, tennis, table tennis, cricket, rounders and dodgeball.
Created by Newall, these sessions were designed to help participants master a variety of skills, not only in each of the different sports, but also incorporating life skills such as communication, coordination, decision making, problem solving and help with speaking English.
Said Danny: “Their English-speaking improved significantly and that will help them more than anything to get ahead in this country.
“Chris Hamilton (Oldham RLFC chairman) was the driving force behind this community project and he and the club deserve a huge thank-you for giving an opportunity to those who wouldn’t normally have it, to regularly partake in sporting activity.
“We had 40 people attending over the two nights, each week, and we gave them all a big surprise one night when Rory, the club mascot, put in an appearance. He was certainly a huge hit.
“I was impressed by their fantastic attitude and respect for me and what we were doing as a club; their eagerness to learn and try new things; and their friendly and competitive regard for sport.
“Their English improved too and that will be a massive positive for them.
“The group also made a lot of progress in playing football, so much so that Guga, their community leader and a former professional footballer, has put plans in place to start a new football team in this area for under 16s.”

The project doesn’t finish there, however, because a cookery-based education course will be up and running in September, using the cooking school at Oasis Academy Oldham.