The Community Board is made up of the following members:
Appointed Chief Executive of the RFL in October 2007, Nigel has lead the organisation's financial recovery which resulted in the incorporation in 2006 as well as consecutive years of profitable trading.
He has authored key strategy documents for Super League (Europe) Limited and the National League clubs which set out the future strategies and collective business plans for both these sectors of the sport.
Nigel also lead the process of developing a system of bench marking and continuous assessment for clubs to maintain membership of and promotion from their respective competitions.
At international level, Nigel is a Director of Rugby League’s European Federation.
In addition to this he serves as a trustee of the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and the Rugby League National Museum, Heritage and Arts Foundation.
Before joining the RFL, Nigel was Chief Executive of Halifax RLFC during their time in Super League. He had previously enjoyed a long career playing and administrating in grass roots Rugby League.
Prior to this he worked as Deputy Head of Finance for BBC North.
John Piercy is the current Chairman of the Student Rugby League.
John has had a lifelong interest in Rugby League, starting when at the age of nine he played in the old “D” league of Hull Schools Rugby League.
With interruptions due to education, family and business commitments he played until the age of forty.
Taking up the whistle, he refereed for the next twenty two years in the SRL, the London, West Yorkshire and Pennine Leagues as well as the early years of the Summer Conference.
A former secretary of the Bradford Amateur RL, a life member of the Bradford RLRS and a Director of the London Skolars, John has extensive experience in both the community and professional arms of the game and the interface between them.
A part time Management Consultant specialising in retail operations, John is married with two grown up sons and now lives in West Yorkshire
WO Damian Clayton MBE
Warrant Officer Damian Clayton MBE RAF is the Armed Forces representative on the Community Board.
Damian has played a key role in the recognition and overall development of Rugby League in the RAF and Armed Forces.
Together with the fellow member of the RFL Roll of Honor – Martin Coyd, he started a personal campaign to challenge the antiquated view held by some of the military hierarchy, that Rugby League had no place in our Armed Forces.
The rest is history as they say, with the sport gaining official recognition in the RAF on 1 Jan 1996. He was bestowed the honour of membership of the Most Excellence Order of the British Empire in the 2002 Queens Birthday Honours list for services to Rugby League in the Armed Forces.
As a player Damian captained the RAF Rugby League side from 1994 – 2006. Unfortunately he succumbed to a ruptured ACL during an Inter Service fixture against the Royal Navy which ended his playing career.
Professionally, Damian currently holds the appointment of Station Warrant Officer at the RAF College, RAF Cranwell, which also happens to be the home of RAF Rugby League.
He has served both home and abroad, completing tours in Germany, Holland, Iraq, Bosnia and the Falkland Islands.
Charlie has represented the Youth and Junior Leagues on the Community Board since 2008 and has been involved in the sport as player since childhood.
He has supported Leeds all his life and got involved with Milford Marlins as a coach which led to him attending junior meetings and joining the Yorkshire Junior Leagues Management.
He served for over 20 years as a Fixture Secretary and then Discipline Secretary and now holds the General Secretaries role.
He holds the UKCC Level 2 Coaching qualification and has also served as Head Coach for Leeds Service Area as well as Performance Analyst for the RFL amongst other coaching roles.
Ian Szwandt is the Chair of English Schools’ Rugby League.
He has been involved with schools for over 20 years. During this time he has coached School sides at all Secondary School year groups and assisted in the coaching of town team sides at U13, U15 and U16s ages.
In his role with the ESRL Ian has toured with the U16s International sides to France, undertaking several roles.
Before his career in Education Ian was in the banking industry and the food industry, but has always had a strong interest in Rugby League since his early years watching Oldham at Watersheddings.
Peter is a Solicitor Advocate and Partner in a criminal law practice based in Wigan.
He was appointed to the Community Board by Richard Lewis in 2004.
Peter is steeped in the grassroots of the game
He played schoolboy rugby for St Cuthberts and St John Rigby College before moving to open age with Whelley ARLFC and on its merger, Wigan St Patricks.
He was jointly responsible for the founding of the North West Counties Youth League in the mid 1970's and became its first fixture secretary.
He also took on the role of rugby secretary for the now legendary Wigan St Patricks youth sides for over 15 years and indeed helped build the clubhouse there.
He has held various positions within BARLA, as a Board member, Chair of Youth, Assistant Tour Manager and Ambassador to International Board meetings, whilst he also served as President of the association for many years.
He has been actively involved in the National Conference League virtually since its inception, as Chairman and currently President.
He negotiated its re-branding in conjunction with the RFL in 1994 and has helped secure the League's present dominant position as the premier competition within the Community Game.
He is a lifelong supporter of – and still holds a few shares in – The Wigan Football Club Ltd (Wigan Warriors)
Appointed in November 2011, Martin represents the Tier Four clubs on the board.
Born in Warrington in 1964, Martin spent every possible opportunity playing Rugby League in the park and watching Warrington at Wilderspool.
On joining the Royal Engineers in 1983, Martin came across many barriers to playing Rugby League, but despite that he and a group of enthusiastic mates played where they could, including in the fledgling North East League in the late 80’s
Martin was instrumental in breaking down one of the last establishment walls when Army Rugby League was formed in 1994.
Appointed as the first Secretary of Army Rugby League, he put in place the structures on which Rugby League is played in the Armed Forces and was appointed as the first Secretary of Combined Services Rugby League in 1997.
On leaving the forces in 2000, Martin had a short period away from the game, settling in Gillingham, Kent, before re-engaging with the sport in the London & The South region.
Initially involved in the new junior league, Martin established Medway Dragons RLFC which now fields 13 teams from under-7 to Masters and includes girls, women’s and wheelchair sides.
Martin is current Chair of the London RL Junior League, Scholarship Manager at London Broncos RLFC and Manager of the England Wheelchair RL Team.
He plays Masters for Medway Dragons, had the honour of playing for Great Britain Masters v Australia in July 2010 and is a proud Baht’at
He was recognised in 2011 with a place on The Rugby Football League Roll of Honour.
Yorkshireman Fred Baker lives in Shropshire where he works as a research technician at a local University.
He is married to Jane and has one son, Jack, currently a student Rugby League player.
Fred first became a fan of Rugby League as a school boy when a family friend took him to Wiggington Road to watch York Wasps. The "buzz" that he got from that game has never left him.
In 1999 he moved from East Yorkshire to Shropshire and was delighted that the existence of the Telford Raiders meant that his son could play his game of choice. The familiar route from enthusiastic parent to administrator, coach and eventually chairperson soon followed.
Fred was involved in the Midlands steering group that pushed forward the development of the junior and senior game in the region.
Over the last ten years he has been proud to play a part in the growth of Rugby League across the whole of the Midlands, and is very aware of the challenges and opportunities that such expansion presents.
He is an active level 2 coach, most recently at club, RPDC and Midlands U18 level.
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