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Huddersfield Giants Supporters Association column: Staying off the politics

How often does a politician speak without being political?

Huddersfield Giants Supporters Association (HGSA)

How often does a politician speak without being political?

Well, we managed it last week when Jason McCartney, MP for the Colne Valley, was our guest speaker.

Jason is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group. The aim of this influential body is to act as ambassadors for the game and promote it at all levels.

Although it does mainly consist of MPs from the North, it is truly cross-party, with luminaries such as Labour’s Lindsay Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker, and his father Doug (from the House Of Lords) and Greg Mulholland from the Liberal Democrats. The former two are fervent Warrington supporters, while the latter is a Leeds fan.

There are approximately 40 members in the group but, just to put it into perspective, there are over 400 such groups in Parliament.

However, they recently had RFL chief executive Nigel Wood explain the proposed 2015 league structure (for those who say it is too complicated, Jason agrees strongly with you!).

When Parliament re-opens in September, they have set up a Rugby League Extravaganza with the World Cup in prominence.

In addition, Jason regularly promotes the sport with David Cameron.

Jason clearly recognises there are numerous challenges in our game (funding, television rights, crowds, growth – should we be an M62 corridor sport or should we continue to rise as a world sport?) and asked the audience to join in a discussion about what we, the grass roots fans, want.

A lively debate ensued but thankfully everyone remained friends!

All in all, a good night was had by everyone.

Mick Beevers thanked Jason for his time (as a Town season-ticket holder, he missed a match that night!) and enthusiasm. Dave Calverley presented him with the customary Honorary Membership of the Association.

Now is the time for members to consider two items:

Who they would like on the 2014 committee. This is not a particularly onerous task, and we are always looking for new members to promote the Association and come up with new ideas.

2. Who they would like to receive the prestigious Wagstaffe Trophy. This is in commemoration of Harold Wagstaffe, the Prince Of Centres and is awarded to the player who, in the Association’s opinion, is the club’s ‘Most Valued Player’. While the definition is purposely left wide open, if you work along the lines of ‘who would I least like to leave the club’ then you won’t go far wrong. The last two recipients were Scott Grix and Danny Brough.

More information can be found at www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk or forms can be obtained at Turnbridge WMC or from any committee member.

 

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