Rugby League teams encouraged to take part in county-wide competition

Rugby League Teams across Cumbria still have time to win a new kit for the start of their new season, as part of a competition to raise awareness of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

The competition was launched in mid-July and will close on the Friday 29th September at 5pm. The competition was developed by local charity Cumbria Family Support, who support families with children through difficult times and is funded by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s (OPFCC) Property Fund.  The competition is being supported by Cumbria Police.

The property fund re-invests money seized from criminal activity and distributes it into local projects, aimed at providing activities that help to reduce crime in communities across Cumbria.

League teams of all ages and all genders across the county can enter the competition and support the VAWG campaign by starting conversations and raising awareness of the importance for players and supporters to ‘call out’ any inappropriate behaviour they may witness. The competition asks clubs to post a picture of their players standing shoulder-to-shoulder and share on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #CallitOutCumbria.

The winning team will receive a new kit, funded by the OPFCC’s Property Fund, promoting the ‘Call it Out’ campaign with a view of carrying the message to the wider sporting world and public as the season progresses.

Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, said: “We’ve already had some great entries and want to ensure that every league team has the opportunity to enter.

“Not only will their entries put them in the running for a new kit, but it will also raise awareness on their social media about violence against women and girls and highlight that it is completely unacceptable.

“To help prevent violence against women and girls, it is about early interventions and giving people the confidence to challenge demeaning attitudes and derogatory behaviours they may come across in their day-to-day life.

“This is a great opportunity for rugby league teams to get involved in the support of women and girls and use their platforms to call out their fans, friends and family members who may be acting inappropriately towards women.

“I would encourage all Rugby League Teams who have not yet entered to do so.”

Detective Inspector Matt Belshaw is the constabulary’s dedicated operational violence against women and girls’ detective inspector.

He said: “I’d urge any team that hasn’t yet entered to do so – this is a great prize and the winners will carry forward an important message.

“It is fantastic to have the Rugby Football League, local clubs and our partners working alongside us and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us to further raise awareness of this issue.”

Sergeant Scott Adams, who is organising the competition alongside partners, said: “There’s still time to enter and play your part in changing attitudes through the positive power of sport.”

Deb Royston, Chief Officer at Cumbria Family Support, said: “At Cumbria family Support, we are delighted that this competition has had so much interest. It’s vital that we take every opportunity to promote the Callitout Cumbria Campaign, and it’s wonderful that if in doing so, we can also help the successful entry to secure new kit!”

For more information about violence against women and girls visit Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) – Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (cumbria-pcc.gov.uk)


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