Last season, the club added a Betfred Super League South Ladies team and an academy for Under 18 boys, writes Stuart Smith.
Both were an incredible success, with players coming from far and wide to join the ladies’ project and the academy producing players that featured regularly in both the Men's Southern Conference and East RL Development teams.
For this season, the ladies’ section will include a development team, competing in the East RL league. It helps to make rugby league more accessible to local players, who may not yet meet the standard required for the Super League.
It was a simple decision to start an academy for girls too, as creating talent for selection in the senior teams should be every club’s number one goal.
This project is aimed at Under 16s and the club is still actively recruiting. New players may have rugby union experience or it could be their very first taste of the game.
With the economic climate affecting clubs in all sports, Bedford Tigers were fortunate that Covid interruptions didn’t affect last season, which was played out in full.
However, with big plans to expand, gaining sponsorship was an important task for the committee. After much hard work, the Tigers were rewarded with two new major sponsors, for the coming season. The club is extremely grateful and pleased to welcome 78:8 Investments and Comfort Homecare as partners for this season and hopefully beyond.
The club remains grateful to those that have been partners previously and have renewed their generous agreements. The players will feel the rewards of this hard work with new kits in the near future.
The Tigers and both new sponsors share the view of wanting to make the sport as inclusive to as many people in the community as possible, with plans to further expand into Wheelchair Rugby and Physical Disability Rugby (PDRL).
A great deal of preparation and planning must go into these projects, with safety and ease of participating at the top of all agendas. It will be hard but rewarding work.
The season kicked off last weekend for the men’s first team, with the visit of Eastern Rhinos. The Tigers have recruited well, so there is great optimism going into the campaign.
The ladies’ first team will also boast fresh talent, with new starters keen to enjoy the summer rugby experience. It is never too late to join. If anyone wishes to try out, or has any questions regarding the Tigers, please contact [email protected]