England’s most northly Rugby League club is celebrating turning one year old.
Alnwick Bears launched in February 2018 marking a huge step forward for rugby league in the North East and have recently celebrated their first birthday.
The club started off with Bear Cubs for toddlers and an U8s and U10s team and despite the ‘Beast from the East’ making the earliest training sessions snowier than expected, the club has gone from strength to strength.
Now with over 60 children involved, as well as playing their first matches in the North East completion, the players were also invited to partake in some incredible opportunities.
Many of the players sampled their first experience of live rugby league at Magic Weekend, an experience added to by the fact they first walked out as mascots with Salford Red Devils.
Word of this exciting new club at the top of the country even spread over the border as the Bears were also invited to be mascots for the Scotland vs Wales European Championship match at Galashiels.
Reflecting on an amazing start, Chairman Steve Beaty said “ This time last year I was terrified no one was going to turn up. Now here we are a year later, we have a thriving Cubs programme, teams from 5-11 year olds and we have some of the best volunteers in the country.”
The enthusiasm to take rugby league to a new area was noticed by others, with several staff nominated at the North East Rugby League Awards and the whole coaching staff shortlisted for local paper awards, the Chronicle Champions.
Currently in the throws of pre-season, the Bears have been offered a temporary lair of nearby iconic RAF base, Boulmer, who have offered their state-of-the-art indoor facility for the next month to provide a training environment free of any Beast from the East-esque challenges if the weather changes.
The partnership with RAF Boulmer is just one of a number of relationships the Bears have developed with local organisations, long term community partner and construction powerhouse Northern Structures Limited having also signed up for 2019.
“Having relationships with both RAF Boulmer and Northern Structures Limited is a great thing for the club, both organisations are passionate about developing the local community, something that we echo at Alnwick Bears” Beaty said.
To find out more about or join Alnwick Bears, visit alnwickbears.co.uk, message the club on social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org.