Wakefield are delighted to announce a new addition to their award winning Community Trust in former academy player James Stephenson.
Stephenson, who played for the Wildcats academy from 1994-1997, arrives at the Rapid Solicitors stadium after spending three hugely successful years as a community coach at Dewsbury Rams.
A pupil of Mirfield High School, James has a wealth of rugby league experience behind him.
As a current service area talent development coach at the RFL, James was team manager of Barla Great Britain u17s, Kirklees Service Area from 2007 to the present day, was a Wildcats Scholarship coach in 2010 and current coach of Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC under 13′s.
Stephenson joined the Rams in 2010 and introduced rugby league to over 10,000 school children in the Dewsbury area, while he brought the Play Touch Rugby League programme to the district.
The Touch Rugby scheme was aimed at getting adults playing on a more regular basis and attracted over 300 participants, 140 of those had never played the game before.
He was rewarded for his hard work and services to rugby league in 2010 when he was named RFL Coach of the Year.
It didn’t take much to attract James to the club he has always supported and he intends to thrive in his role, creating a legacy of rugby league in the Wakefield community.
“My main target is to increase the profile of the club. I want to build on the foundation that is already in place here and make it the main attraction of city.
“I want to enhance the profile and make the club the biggest thing in Wakefield. We want to expand to a wider range of people and get the community involved.”
Meanwhile, Louise Garland-Jones has been teaching street dance in five different schools across Wakefield.
The Leeds Metropolitan University student has been running the classes since January, with a routine being taught to the young people so they can perform at this weekend’s big game.
Having previously spent a year teaching at North Featherstone primary school, Louise has been dancing since the age of 13 through high school and outside theatre productions and is delighted to be able to share her expertise with the children.
Mark Winder, Director of Education said: “The two appointments have been made to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of the local community. We are committed to improving lives of people in the district and this really does highlight our intentions and commitment.”
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.