BARA organise charity rugby match
Winter rugby league returns to Cougar Park on Sunday 5th December with a day of fun and activities featuring a match between the British Asian Rugby Association (BARA) and the Political Animals.
The event, which aims to raise much needed funds for the Pakistan Flood Appeal, has been organised by the Leeds North West MP, Greg Mulholland together with BARA Managing Director and dual code international Ikram Butt.
Greg Mulholland, Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group and of the Political Animals’ Club Captain, commented: “I am very excited that the Political Animals will be coming to Keighley to play in this special match to raise money for the victims of the floods in Pakistan.
“We don’t need much excuse to get the lads together for a game, and this is as good an excuse as it gets. We also see this match as a way to show that rugby league is a sport that appeals to all communities.
“Sport is a great way to break down barriers and I hope that people from all over Keighley will come along to show their support and to raise money for this important cause,” he added.
Butt, who also manages the Leeds Rugby Foundation’s Connecting Communities Project, is conscious of rugby league’s role and capability when it comes to bringing communities together.
He said “I never miss a chance through rugby league, to try to bring communities together. This promises to be a great day of fun for such an important cause.
“The day begins from 11am at Cougar Park where there will be rugby league skills and fun activities for children & young people planned for the local community.
“However we will be widening the scope of the event, through the involvement of MOSAIC, an organisation of which HRH Prince Charles is patron.
“Also involved in bringing it altogether are HAMARA which promotes healthy living amongst the South Asian Communities, the Makkah Mosque, St Luke’s Cares and we are delighted that the RFL will be providing a Super League official.
“We will be bringing youngsters from the Leeds and Bradford area and I’m sure everyone will have a good time, get to know each other, and learn from one another.
“A special mention must go out to our event sponsors Stradbrokes Solicitors and MAIDA Caterers who have kindly agreed to provide a buffet for the VIPs and dinner for the players from both teams taking part.
“Hasan Pooya, Chair of the Pakistan Rugby League Association, will also be in attendance to watch the match” added Butt.
Cougars’ Chairman Gary Fawcett has committed Cougars to the event for two reasons. Firstly as a great idea in its own right and secondly to highlight the club’s 2011 campaign to engage with all of the communities around Keighley.
He said: “Rugby league has always been a sport for everybody yet there are communities and cultural groups that are under-represented in our sport, and importantly at our club.
“We want to break down whatever barriers, real, or perceived that are getting in the way. Our campaign is going to reach out across the social and cultural spectrum of the area and this event is a statement of intent,” he added.