COUNCILLOR Ginny Alexander, the Mayor of Oldham, has launched a major initiative for children at Oldham Rugby League Club.

Accompanied by her consort husband Adrian Alexander, a former Oldham councillor and an ex-Roughyeds prop forward, the mayor gave civic backing to the club’s Junior Take-Over Day, a scheme which will take place when North Wales Crusaders visit the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, July 14.

Local children are invited to take over key roles at the club that day including those of chairman, public address announcer, hospitality suite hosts, media manager, club photographer, stand transfer attendant, players’ kit manager, ground safety announcer, match timekeeper, programme sellers, Golden Gamble (draw tickets) sellers and car park attendants.

“By providing local children with this enjoyable, possibly one-time, opportunity, we are hoping to show children and their families how our rugby club works on match days,” said Julie Collins from the club’s management team.

“We were honoured and privileged when the mayor and her consort attended a meeting of Roary’s Pride, our junior supporters’ club, to lunch our Take-Over Day.”

Children are required to complete an application form from the club website, stating which of the roles they would like to fill on July 14.

These can be downloaded from the club’s website or picked up at the club office at Roughyeds’ base, the Vestacare Stadium, between 10am and 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (telephone 07904 898177).

Forms need to be returned to Jenny McGrane at the club by July 3.

Each role will be offered to the applicant club officials believe has given the best reason for wanting to do that particular job on July 14.

The Take-Over Day was launched by the mayor when she and consort Adrian attended a Roary’s Pride meeting of junior supporters which is run by David Murgatroyd, who is also a member of the senior management team, 19-year-old Sophie Nixon, and club mascot Roary, who looks after his ‘pride’ of junior supporters.

Community officers from Greater Manchester Police also attended the meeting at which the consort gave junior supporters a brief run-down on what it was like to play for the club.

Alexander, who had previously played rugby union for England under-23s, the Barbarians and London Counties, changed codes and played for Oldham for four years, shining as a multi-talented ball-handling prop.

He told the children: “Rugby league is like life in general – you take a knock, shake it off, get up and play the ball and get on with the job.”