THE York City Knights Foundation have helped to kick off a “satellite programme” aimed at increasing the number of secondary school pupils in York playing rugby league.

Thanks to funding from Sport England acquired by the Rugby Football League, the Knights’ charity are working with amateur clubs and North Yorkshire Sport to organise training sessions and fun-based matches.

These after-school sessions are viewed as a stepping stone between school sport and joining a sports club, or for young people to play sport with friends in a social environment.

The first session was delivered at Canon Lee Specialist Arts College.

All sessions are free, and youngsters from neighbouring schools can also go along. Ability or experience is not important, especially with the goals being to attract new players, encourage sporty lifestyles and increase the numbers going on to join community clubs.

Coaching sessions also build towards school rugby league festivals within the PE calendar.

A Knights Foundation statement said: “All sessions will hopefully build links from schools to clubs and give players the confidence to join an amateur club as well as develop the skills of those already playing regularly.”

For more information, phone Knights Foundation manager Neil Gulliver on 01904 767404 or email