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Rugby league participation and finances strengthening in Europe, says RLEF

By Matthew Campelli    07 Jul 2017
In the report forward, Danny Kazandijan said the RLEF's education strategy was bringing the game on in Europe

Rugby league is increasing in popularity around Europe and less traditional rugby playing nations, according to the latest annual report published by the sport’s continental governing body.

While England, France, Ireland and Wales all recorded participation increases over 2016, that surge was mirrored in countries such as Jamaica, Lebanon and Ukraine.

According to the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF), Jamaica had a record year of participation, with 138 domestic matches completed compared to its previous record of 100.

Norway and Italy completed 100 per cent of their championship matches. The latter also achieved full member standards after improving its governance.

The financial health of the sport appears to be improving as well.

England’s Rugby Football League posted its 14th consecutive annual profit, while Wales is experiencing its strongest ever financial position due to its reserves policy.

Lebanon received a sports ministry grant of US$50,000 (£38,768, €43,818) and Jamaica now generates 55 per cent of its revenue locally compared to 43 per cent in 2015.

The Czech Republic has also posted historic high cash reserves, as well as steady competition growth at senior and youth level.

The report also provided an update on the RLEF’s flagship education strategy, which has won €466,000 (£412,296, US$531,763) of European Commission funding and a further €200,000 (£176,951, US$228,224) contributed by the sport.

Danny Kazandijan, general manager of the RLEF, said the technical courses being provided and the development of its online technical portal was the catalyst for current and future success of the sport.

Rugby league  RLEF 
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