The Vikings Sports Foundation has been set up as the affiliated charity of Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club. Alongside key partners from the public, private and third sector, the goal of the charity is to engage, educate and inspire the local community to bring about positive change and new opportunities for all through rugby league.
The charity offers a number of incredible opportunities to the people of our local community, which includes a monthly Dementia Support event, chances to represent Widnes Vikings as part of the Learning Disability Rugby League team and delivery of sports sessions to Primary and Secondary School children across the borough.
There are also a number of educational programmes aimed at helping young people who are out of work and education to regain their confidence, learn valuable skills to use when applying for jobs and become more employable thanks to the Vikings Learning Centre.
For more information on the programs that the Vikings Sports Foundation offers, or on how you can become a partner of the charity, please contact Head of Community, Cheryl McGivern, on [email protected]
Learning Disability rugby league is an inclusive, no contact version of the sport which encourages players to enjoy themselves without the pressure of games being results driven. In 2019, the launch of the Community Integrated Care LD Super League has seen the club’s team feature at Anfield as part of the Magic Weekend, in an unforgettable experience. The Vikings LDRL squad’s main sponsor is Emerald Kalama, with GMB Trade Union, Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service and Community Integrated Care also partners.
Sessions take place every Tuesday, 6pm-7pm, at the Halton Stadium and cost £2 per person, with funds going back into the Learning Disability team.
Game Changer was awarded with the Mary Poppins Award back in November, with Public Health England judging the programme to be the best in the category. The award celebrates the best health programmes for young people, with the Vikings gaining plaudits for promoting exercise, good nutrition and healthy lifestyle in schools across the local community.
Over 24-weeks, children are assessed in different fitness markers, and in 2018 almost 1,400 children were engaged in Game Changer with every participant showing improvements in their overall fitness.
Offload is delivered to men with the aim of building metal resilience using the power of Rugby League, through a 10 week ‘fixture list’ of presentations. The team of presenters includes former players, coaches and referees, who draw from their own experiences to help those suffering with mental health issues. The drop-in sessions are delivered in partnership with RL Cares and State of Mind.
Sessions run every Tuesday, 6:30pm-8pm, at the Halton Stadium and are FREE to attend.
In partnership with Community Integrated Care, a dementia support group is held on the first Wednesday of every month to offer advice and support to those living with dementia and their loved ones. Vikings memorabilia is on display, with the group offering entertainment, accessible activities and refreshments.
Sessions take place on the first Wednesday of each month, 11am-12:30pm, at the Halton Stadium and are free to attend.
The Sky Try programme aims to make a difference by increasing the amount of viewers, spectators and participants to Rugby League, with the RFL viewing this as a great opportunity to develop and grow the sport.
The 2018/19 academic year saw every set performance indicator achieved with over 3,800 primary school children and 1,500 secondary aged children taking part in a six-week rugby league programme. Over 60 teachers and community coaches have also completed set CPD through the programme.
Every Friday afternoon, Vikings supporters aged 55 and above gather to discuss all things rugby league as part of our Golden Generation. The programme allows those who attend the chance to reminisce about their favourite memories of supporting the club, while allowing them to socialise with new friends.
Sessions run every Friday, 3pm-4pm, at the Halton Stadium and are FREE to attend.
You can develop your rugby league skills while improving your health, with our weekly Touch Rugby sessions taking place on the iPitch. Newcomers of all abilities are welcome to join in at any stage, giving you the opportunity to also enjoy the social aspects of rugby league.
Sessions run every Monday, 6pm-7pm, at the Halton Stadium and cost £2 per person.
Similar to Touch Rugby, these sessions give you an opportunity to develop your rugby league skills while player a slower paced version of the sport, with participants only allowed to walk rather than run. Physical and social benefits still apply, and as ever newcomers of all abilities are welcome to attend.
Sessions run every Tuesday, 5pm-6pm, at the Halton Stadium and cost £2 per person.
Every week our specialist dance coach runs the Vikings Dance Academy, giving youngsters the opportunity to improve their dance skills and also take up opportunities to perform at Widnes Vikings fixtures. Sessions are spilt into two age categories and welcome children of all abilities, with both boys and girls welcome. Throughout the year, the Vikings Dance Academy also hold Dance Camps during half-term, giving your child a full day of fun activities priced at just £10 per person!
Sessions take place every Thursday, 4:30pm-5:15pm for ages 5-11 or 5:15pm-6pm for ages 11+, at the Halton Stadium and cost £3.50 per person.
The Vikings Sports Foundation deliver physical activity sessions to seven partner schools throughout the academic year, as each school receives three hours of coaching per week. Whilst delivering sport is a focus of the partnerships, the last year has seen the delivery of a Schools Literacy Programme which has sought to use the power of rugby league to get more children, particularly boys, reading.
Our Partner Schools are:
The Vikings Learning Centre is an alternative provider of education and training for school leavers who are out of education, employment or training. Working with Riverside College, Widnes Vikings offer a range of programmes that enable people to fulfil their potential and gain new opportunities.
We are proud to have a 100% pass-rate across all courses, with countless examples of learners going on to gain exciting new opportunities in education, employment or apprenticeships.
We offer a supportive environment for all learners, with small class sizes and a friendly and informal atmosphere. Our tutors have specialist skills to provide people with the support they need to fulfil their own personal goals. They will get to know you, what you want to achieve and how to get the best out of your talents.
Our Employability courses are available for young adults and adults who are looking to take the next step on their employment journey, and gain qualifications and life skills in order to better themselves.