Batley Boys keep up the good work

BATLEY Boys amateur RL club have been part of the local amateur sporting scene for 75 years and, after a relatively lean spell, is now enjoying a strong revival.

Thursday, 9th December 2010, 2:10 pm

Now known as the Batley Young People’s Club, the Boys offer the chance to play rugby league to boys, girls, men and women at a huge variety of age groups after a good deal of recenthard work by a dedicated band of people.

The Boys are the last remaining amateur rugby club in Batley, since their friends and neighbours at Batley Victoria moved to Birstall, and are now thriving again.

Over the years the club has seen many hundreds of children and their families take advantage of the facilities and opportunities on offer. Some have gone to play for their country, such as Carl Gibson, or gone into Super League like Matt Diskin, others have gone on to become familiar and popular figures at Batley Bulldogs - Mark Toohey, Mark Scott. Mark Speight, Aiden Lister and Simon and Mick Wilson to name just a few but there have been many others, who have done the club and the town proud.

When Batley Boys were in their prime they boasted one, sometimes two teams in each age group, ranging from Under-7s to open age. Unfortunatley the club went into decline for a time and only had an Under-15s and open age team.

Now, however, since February 2007 when the junior section was re-launched with the help of an article in the Batley News, Batley Boys now boasts 8 teams, starting playing from 6 years of age and currently have Under-8s, 9s, 10s,11s, 15s, 18s open age and a ladies team.

These are very exiting times for Batley Boys, who are developing rapidly with enthusiastic players, coaches and a dedicated comittee. The club has recently aquired clubmark status, which is awarded by the Rugby Football League for being a quality provider of rugby league with appropriate policies and procedures.

The changing rooms, toilets and physio room located under the Challenge Family Stand at Mount Pleasant have recently been fully refurbished and now offer some of the best changing facilities in the area for members and visitors.

Batley Boys also work closely with Batley Bulldogs and use the Bulldogs Bar and kitchen at Mount Pleasant as a club house bringing in much-needed revenue. Both clubs have the use of a gym situated in the old Batley Boys clubhouse alongside the ground.

The open age side play at Halifax Road near Stainc liffe WMC, while the younger teams play at Taylor Street.

Community coach Dan Winner ensures good links between the two clubs, while the Boys head coach and newly-appointed chairman Jimmy Hooley and vice-chairman Andy Winner, who is also a director at the Bulldogs, make sure both clubs work in harmony. A previous year’s initiatives will see all juniors receive a free Bulldogs season ticket.

Any new players are welcome to join what is a very friendly club and offers people of all ages chance to build their self esteem in a fun environment.

Jimmy Hooley 07828 538635, Dan Winner 07815 063184 can be contacted for details of training nights and times.

Batley Boys hold their annual sportsman’s dinner and reunion at Zuchinis on January 29.