IT has been 120 years since Batley won the first-ever Challenge Cup in 1897 – and to celebrate the significant milestone the club are launching a new £85,000 heritage project.
‘Gallant Youths From The Mountain Top’ will officially launch in the Ron Earnshaw Lounge at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Monday, April 24, to coincide exactly with the anniversary.
The event kicks off at 7pm and will be a celebration of the Challenge Cup victory, as well as a chance to outline the plans to document the history of the club over the next three years.
Batley Sporting Charitable Trust has been given a grant of £85,300 from the National Lottery to fund the research.
Led by volunteers from the community and managed by the club’s record try-scorer Craig Lingard, the project will focus on the history of Batley RLFC from its inception in 1880 up to the present day.
Various aims have already been set out, including issuing a heritage number to all players who have represented the club at first team level.
There will also be a dedicated heritage website and an educational programme that will be delivered to more than 1,000 local school children.
A hall of fame will be set up, alongside a display of memorabilia and artefacts that will showcase the proud history of the club.
Rugby league has been played at Mount Pleasant since 1880 ñ and when Wakefield Trinity’s Belle Vue ground closes at the end of the year, it will become the oldest rugby league ground in the world.
The ground is not only important to the history of rugby in Batley, but to the history and heritage of the game and this project will allow that history to be researched and celebrated.
Chairperson of the Batley Sporting Charitable Trust, Beverley Nicholas, said: “We are delighted to have received the support and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to research the history of this proud club.
“The rugby club has played an integral part in the town of Batley through the years and we believe that this is a great opportunity for us to be able to celebrate that.
“This project will allow us to connect and educate a whole new generation of young Batley people about the history of the club whilst at the same time increasing voluntary hours and engagement within the community.”
The celebratory evening is open to all. Admission is £5, which includes pie and peas or a pint.
Tickets for the event are available by emailing email@example.com, or on the night.