Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust BullBuilder have joined forces with the Bulls Foundation and Bulls Lottery to coordinate and combine efforts in 2015 and the future.
BullBuilder Chairman Mike Farren said “The Big One Lottery, BullBuilder and the Bulls Foundation are three independent bodies with different aims but we often overlap in terms of our activities. In the past many supporters may have been hard pushed to understand the differences between us but we’re now aiming to make our roles clear so we’re better coordinated and people understand what we’re about. Recently there’s been a real meeting of minds between the three groups and we’re all ready to pull together.”
Fans may be familiar with the Bulls Foundation, the official charity of the Bradford Bulls, which provides services to the Bradford district and wider areas to adults, children and young people, regardless of gender, religious belief, cultural heritage or abilities. The Foundation uses the power of sport to educate, motivate and inspire the local community through activities including; sport, health, education, heritage, social inclusion and arts and culture.
Foundation General Manager Mark Winder said “The Foundation gets people involved from all backgrounds, whether it’s getting children and young people playing the game in schools or getting people interested in Rugby League or sport generally. We reach the local community to promote positive lifestyle messages, build confidence, develop talent and promote civic pride. We see our role as part of a triumvirate alongside BullBuilder and the Big One Lottery providing an access point to the game of Rugby League. The child that tries the game for the first time thanks to one of our events could one day end up becoming a long term supporter or even an elite level player. This does not matter as long as they get involved and experience our great sport!” In future, BullBuilder and the Bulls Foundation will hold regular meetings together.
The Bradford Bulls Big One Lottery is the main source of income for the club’s Academy Teams. Monies raised by the Lottery go directly to pay for academy players, coaches, support staff, premises, equipment and overheads. Since it began in 2004 it has raised over £800k and has brought through past players such as Sam Burgess and Elliott Whitehead as well as current stars like Adam O’Brien and Danny Addy.
Steve Ferres said “The Big One is integral to the club’s aim to produce world class talent of its own. Fans that take part have the chance to win cash prizes knowing they’re supporting that aim. It costs as little as £1 a week with chances to win something every day. We’re the bread and butter fund raisers for the Academy and the main source of income for them. We see the Foundation as a catalyst for providing more young players in the Bradford area, some of whom may end up as Bulls players. The big plus about BullBuilder is that it is able to provide support – both in physical items, and in providing activities and other support for the lads – on top of what the club is able to provide. Seeing and experiencing such direct support from the fans is very motivational for the team”.
BullBuilder is the club’s independent supporters trust. It is run by dedicated volunteers who support the Academy Team by providing the “extras” the club is unable to fund. Funds are raised from events and direct donations from members. Over the past two years it has funded thing such as training ground floodlighting, outward bound courses, weight training equipment, specialist kit, groundkeeping equipment, IT equipment and even a Christmas Meal and Ten Pin Bowling night.
Committee Member Sam Grundy said “Thanks to the generosity of its members, BullBuilder provides funds to top up what the Big One provides and give supporters chances to meet the Bulls academy staff and players. We have a variety of events in the pipeline from Race Nights and Q&A sessions to Fundraising Auctions. Each event will give members a chance to meet players and staff in person and get a real insight into the club that you can’t get from any other source. It’s important to coordinate with the Foundation and the Big One so we can have joint events that don’t conflict. The Bulls don’t have a ‘sugar daddy’ who can fund everything so the funds we raise enable us to compete with wealthier clubs.”
Bulls Academy Head John Bastian said “It makes total sense for the organisers of these three great initiatives to come together to set out what they do and to coordinate their activities. What they do is vital for the Bradford Bulls, for Rugby League and for the wider community. I wish them every success.”