Youngsters playing for Hindley ARLFC Under 9s have started the new season with a win and a loss, and a set of brand new game shirts. Thanks to sponsorship from a range of local companies, including Manchester main contractor Russell WBHO, each player has also been given a personalised club kit bag with branded polo shirt, warm up kit and hoodie.
The sponsorship fits into Russell WBHO’s ethos of supporting grass roots sports and causes close to the hearts of its own employees.
As a club, Hindley plays an important part in the community providing activities for more than 250 young people from across the Wigan area. Teams run from the under six minis through all age groups to the Under 18s academy and open teams. Attracting both boys and girls and competing in the North West Counties Youth League, all under 11s teams are mixed and there are full girls teams at Under 12 and Under 14 level.
The club was nominated for support by project director Richard Sumner (pictured) who coaches the Under 9s. He said: “The have a great time enjoying playing sport and becoming part of a club, it’s fun but also can be very influential for some young people. Sponsorship is really important in helping us to provide the facilities, resources and kit to all of our players, regardless of their ability to contribute. Thanks to the company’s help we gave each of the Under 9s with their own named shirt and club branded kit so they all have the same thing to wear before and after matches. It helps strengthen their connection to the club and fosters an ethos of working together for a common aim as part of a team.”
The fully personalised new shirts not only sport the Russell WBHO and other corporate sponsor logos, but also four charities which the club supports The Christie, Positive About Down Syndrome, Wigan & Leigh Hospice and The Brick, a Wigan-based homeless charity.
On the back of every shirt is also the Japanese word Hansei 反省 which means self-reflection, a central idea in Japanese Culture meaning to acknowledge one’s own mistake and to pledge improvement. While inside the collar it reads: “THE SIZE OF YOUR SUCCESS IS MEASURED BY THE STRENGTH OF YOUR DESIRE : THE SIZE OF YOUR DREAM: AND HOW YOU HANDLE DISAPPOINTMENT ALONG THE WAY.”
Richard added: “We have a massive emphasis on culture at the club, focusing on teaching the kids to be good people, to be respectful and show good manners, be good team mates and to look out for one another as well as good rugby players. It is the sport which brings them together but the club ethos which will stay with them throughout their lives.”