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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Carlisle rugby league club donates kit to Jamaican school

A Carlisle club is flying the flag for rugby league in the Caribbean.

East Cumbria Crusaders were quick to respond after a Rugby Football League plea to clubs to help with the growth of the game in Jamaica by donating surplus kit.

“The growth in the sport overseas has been quite phenomenal, and I would like to think we are helping that,” said Alan Tucker, chairman of the Creighton-based outfit.

“After we changed out name from Carlisle to East Cumbria Crusaders, we still had quite a few items of kit with the Carlisle name on.

“They would usually be given to players for training, but they are quite serviceable and could do a few more seasons, so it seemed wrong to discard them.

“We put together four bags of kit, including rugby balls that they will get the use of in Jamaica.”

The club donated Under-15 and open age kit that dated back to their days as Carlisle Saints.

And players from Edith Dalton James High School, in Duhaney Park, Kingston, are making full use of it.

Last year it became the first high school in the country to focus solely on rugby league, while others played rugby union.

And after competing relatively well in the open age nine-a-side high school championship, they have developed Under-16s and 19 squads this year, coached by Jamaica national team player Robert Rodney, who volunteers his time.

“They are delighted with the kit, and we are delighted to help,” said Tucker.

Jamaica missed out on a place in the 2013 World Cup after finishing runners-up in their Atlantic qualifying group behind the United States.

They are ranked 23rd in the world and their UK-based players include Karl Pryce of Wigan and Paul White of Halifax.

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