The Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust

BullBuilder - The Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust

Bulls Box Clever

BullBuilder and Bulls Foundation have teamed up to provide smart new boxing equipment for use by the Academy and Scholarship players at the Tong Training Centre. Other equipment bought included gloves and pads. The equipment was sourced by the Bulls Foundation and funded by BullBuilder, the Supporters Trust. BullBuilder chairman Sam Grundy explained. “Bulls Head of Youth Development John Bastian explained that there was a need for boxing equipment to aid player development and ourselves at BullBuilder and Mark Winder at the Bulls Foundation stepped in to help. The Foundation have great links into the community and were able to source excellent, top-quality equipment. We then used our member subscriptions to pay for it.” Bulls head of youth John Bastian explained how the equipment would benefit the Academy and Scholarship players. “Boxing training is something rugby league players have done for many years now and having this equipment in house means we can do that whenever we want. Boxing training helps not only with fitness but also with coordination and movement. Boxing requires concentration and precision, often at high intensity with explosive movements and in that way is good for simulating similar things to what players experience on the field. You have to get your feet in the right position before you punch – as in a tackle and often do that when fatigued.” “The heavy bags and pads are great for these purposes and will be a great aid to our youth players and first teamers. It provides some variety to training and can be really beneficial when the weather makes outdoor training impossible. I’d like to thank BullBuilder and the Bulls Foundation for their assistance in providing this equipment and would urge supporters to get involved with BullBuilder if they want to provide further help.” To join BullBuilder visit our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/, or contact us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD. To find out more about the Bulls Foundation visit http://www.bullsfoundation.org

Academy Update December 2016 from BullBuilder Board Member Paul Fisher

As well as having been a valuable and energetic member of the BullBuilder committee for the past two years, Paul Fisher has worked as a volunteer as Player Welfare Coordinator at the club, leading to his recently having been voted ‘Clubperson of the Year’. Consequently, he is in a unique position to deliver the following report. We now have settled U19 and U16 squads and the coaching staff are very pleased with all the players at both levels. Training is going well there is a good attitude and commitment being shown, and some very promising talent coming through. There has been the U16 Scholarship presentation evening, which was attended by over 200 people comprising players, parents, management and coaching staff and was a very well organised, professional event. Both the U19’s and U16’s are attending workshops and, due to John Bastian’s initiative, parents / guardians are invited and quite a few attend. It is really good to see the parents and guardians being involved and they witness the care and attention given to the players and are made to feel an important part of their son’s development. Workshops attended to date are as follows:
  • RFL Sport Psychology UPK Workshop (U19)
  • Drug & Alcohol abuse (By a parent of one of the players who is a senior Detective Inspector).
  • Diet & Nutrition (very good message and guidance given & we are hoping to have several more of these).
Workshops being arranged over the next few weeks.
  • Social Media (in house by Stuart Duffy or Robbie Hunter Paul)
  • Social & Non-prescription Drugs (in house)
  • UK Anti-Doping (RFL)
  • Speed Awareness (by a parent of one of the players who is a leading Fireman)
The above demonstrates the success of good networking and inclusiveness resulting in a culture that most other clubs can only aspire to. Whenever the Bulls Academy set-up is discussed with people outside the club via my Player Welfare duties, there is nothing but praise, whether from presenters, people involved at other clubs or the RFL. I have just been to the U16 training session on the 4G pitch at the Bradford Academy (who, by the way, are being very supportive and really behind John and the youth set) and listening to the coaches there are some great prospects coming through. The main point however is that the lads are really enjoying themselves and work hard and you see this in everything they do. We even had a sing song on the pitch after the final session: they all got together and gave us a great rendition on 'we wish you a Merry Xmas'. It should have been recorded since this is just one example of the team spirit and culture that is instilled in the youth set, all thanks to John and his team. In summary even with the constraints and restrictions John and the coaching staff are working to, we are very fortunate to have John and his team running the Academy and we should be very proud and grateful for this. Therefore our continued support can only greatly assist in helping John and the coaching staff deliver this ‘centre of excellence’. This kind of support from BullBuilder recently led to the purchase of some medical callipers for measuring body fat as part of the physical development programme for young players. When they were delivered, John Bastian wrote: “On behalf of everyone at Bradford Bulls I would like to congratulate and thank Bullbuilder for the great support they have given to the Development of our Junior Players, we are very grateful and appreciate all your hard work. Finally many thanks for the recent acquisition of a set of Body Callipers.” If you would like to join BullBuilder or even become part of the committee visit the Bullbuilder website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/ or write to Bullbuilder, Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

Message from John Bastian

BullBuilder recently received the following message from Bradford Bulls' Head of Youth, John Bastian: The Bradford Bulls Academy have seen many changes during the 2015 year, new staff arriving, new junior players signing part time professional contracts and some staff and players who have given very good service to the club moving on. Having said all this we are in a good place and are slowly but surely changing the culture and environment that we believe will benefit the club long term, we still have work to do and will be relentless in providing home-grown juniors that the Bradford Bulls club has been famous for producing over many years. The partnership and support from Bullbuilder and the members has been crucial in our growth, providing us with so many vital pieces of equipment to support the development and progress of our junior players, long may this continue and we thank you all for your outstanding contribution. Head of Youth, John Bastian. The BullBuilder board would like to echo John's comments, and to thank all our members and supporters, as well as those who have attended our events, for giving such invaluable backing to the youth set-up at the club. Anyone who supports our aims but is not currently a member, can join us by clicking here. And if anyone would really like to get involved by standing for a place on the committee, we are likely to have some places available at the AGM. Please let us know as soon as possible, by emailing us at info@bullbuilder.co.uk

BullBuilder provides leg press for conditioning and rehab

Once again BullBuilder, the Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust, has provided an important piece of equipment to aid the development of young players, thanks to the efforts of members and fans.
New leg press in action.

New leg press in action.

The trust paid for the purchase and installation of a high-specification leg press at the club’s Tong training facility. Bulls Head of Youth, John Bastian, said, “The equipment, which allows different weights for each leg, will not only be invaluable as part of training routines, but will also speed up the rehabilitation process for leg injuries. Players like James Pickering, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury earlier in the season, will be back on the pitch much more quickly thanks to the leg press.”    
James Pickering's re-hab is accelerated by the new leg press

James Pickering's re-hab is accelerated by the new leg press

BullBuilder Chairman Sam Grundy commented, “This is a high cost, high value addition to the training options for young players at the club. BullBuilder saw the benefit immediately. Fortunately, having recently held successful fund raising events such as Dinner in the Park and the Race Night, we had the money available to be able to meet the request for this equipment. “We will shortly be announcing a new programme of events for the end of this year and into 2016, to enable us to deliver even benefits to the club to assist with youth development. However, we can only do this with the help of our members. We need Bulls supporters to become members and we need members to back our events and our campaigns. With your help, we can have a real say in the future of the club.”

Bulls “Greats” line up for BullBuilder Event

Bulls fans will get a unique chance to meet three decades worth of club halfbacks at the BullBuilder Dinnertime in the Park event on Wednesday 3rd June. The club’s ex-players association put its weight behind the event after being contacted by BullBuilder, the Bulls' official supporter’s trust, who provide extra funding for the club’s academy teams.


Event organiser Michael Barker said “It’s great to have the backing of the ex-players association and we are expecting Deryck Fox, Andy Robinson and Robbie Hunter-Paul to be at the event along with a number of other great ex-players. There will be an auction featuring some really top quality items plus a free prize draw and raffle. Whether people want to bid for things or not it will be a fun event with top quality food and drink all included."

Also in attendance will be Bulls Head of Youth John Bastian and Under 19s' coach Matt Diskin plus several of the club’s top academy players.    BullBuilder’s aim is to provide financial assistance to the club’s academy teams on top of what is provided by the club to give the players. Past contributions have taken the form of floodlighting, gym equipment, IT equipment and outward bound courses with the RAF.

John Bastian said “This is shaping up to be a superb event and we’re very grateful to BullBuilder and its members for their continued support. Their contribution has been invaluable in developing our young players, some of whom will go on to become first teamers in years to come.”


The event takes place at the Pavilion Café in Centenary Square at 7pm on 3rd June. Tickets are £20 per person, with £10 of each ticket going to BullBuilder. Tickets are available from the Bulls ticket office (cash only) or Pavilion Café reception or email info@performancedg.com or ring 07958 728490.

Liam Kirk receives second BullBuilder player of the month

BullBuilder, the Bradford Bulls’ Supporters’ Trust, made their player of the month award for March at half-time during the home match against Halifax. It was Liam Kirk, following up his capture of last season’s BullBuilder Under-19 Player of the Year award, who was chosen by coach Matt Diskin to be the recipient of the Trust’s second monthly medal for 2015.
Liam Kirk receives March Player of the Month award from BullBuilder Board member, Jen Bennison

Liam Kirk receives March Player of the Month award from BullBuilder Board member, Jen Bennison

Liam, who is the second forward to be named player of the month after Matty Stableford scooped February’s prize, has been playing at prop for Diskin’s team in recent matches and has played a key role in some of the highly competitive performances that the Under-19s have been putting in against Super League Academy opposition. However, the award is not just made on the basis of match day performance, as many other factors are taken into consideration. As John Bastian, the club’s Head of Youth, put it, “Liam is not just a good player, but a quality individual. You can rely on him to set a good example in training as well as on the pitch.” The award was presented to Liam by BullBuilder committee member and membership secretary, Jen Bennison. Jen, who is in her second year on the BullBuilder board, has been active in many other ways in supporting junior rugby at the club, having sponsored former Academy star and current first team member Sam Bates. Most recently, Jen donated a camcorder to the Academy in memory of her late husband, Mick. BullBuilder Chairman, Mike Farren, said, “We at BullBuilder feel this is an important award in showing the Under-19s that their efforts are appreciated and will be rewarded. Just as important is showing that the fans are behind the lads and behind the development of young players at the club. I was privileged to present the first award and now Jen has presented the second, but we’re hoping to get BullBuilder members – not just the usual suspects from the committee – to present the award in future. If you are a BullBuilder member, or are thinking of becoming one, and would like to present the Under-19 Player of the Month medal on the pitch at Odsal, please get in touch!” If you want to get involved and help shape the future of the club, you can join or re-join BullBuilder by visiting our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/. For more information, please Email us at info@bullbuilder.co.uk or write to us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.

“Together we are stronger” – Bulls groups work together for a better future

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.” Supporters who wish to find out more can visit http://www.bullsfoundation.org http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk or http://www.bradfordbulls.co.uk

BullBuilder help Academy reach “cutting edge” of coaching!

BullBuilder has collaborated with the Bulls Foundation to purchase two Apple Ipads and a MacBook. We recently caught up with Head of Youth John Bastian to find out how this equipment paid for with member’s contributions is helping Academy staff.
John Bastian with members of the BullBuilder committee

John Bastian with members of the BullBuilder committee

John Bastian said: “Teaching skills is the biggest challenge to a coach.  You have got to break it down. You begin by giving a smart explanation of a skill then get players to practice it.  You then put the player under pressure then hopefully you see the rewards on gameday.   It’s not like the old days when the basics could be taken for granted or you picked them up from watching games on TV or live.   You need to teach them in detail and practice them repeatedly.   The equipment donated by BullBuilder is a fantastic aid for doing that.” Two Ipads have been provided - one for U16s one for U19s and are used for recording clips of training drills that can highlight individual skills.    The equipment allows coaches to play back footage to players and conduct short analysis with each individual for immediate feedback. John added:  “During a drill a coach can pull a player across and in 30 seconds he can be shown where he’s going wrong and then immediately go back out and put into practice what he’s learnt.   It allows both coach and player to get more out of session.” John went on: “The Macbook is very useful as one is able to drop information on it such as whole games from U16s and U19s.   We also intend to use it for other games from amateur games we visit.   It allows us to analyse games in detail and Matt and Leigh spend many hours doing that.  You can use recordings from a statistical or qualitative point of view.  You can look at examples of good players and extenuate positives to illustrate something so that players can learn more. Now we have this equipment coaches can use to use it in ways to communicate to players so they understand and improve.  This equipment is a massive aid we are able to teach a skill, get players to practice, break it down, practice again and feedback.  The process follows a cycle.” “During the two close games in the World Club Challenge it was basic skills that cost the British clubs wins. The fundamentals, grip, catch and pass and quality of pass – they’re so important. It’s why we need to practice at length.  The more information we can give players through analysis the better hopefully they’ll become. Other clubs do it and England academy. Now, thanks to BullBuilder the Bulls Academy are too.” Chairman Mike Farren said, “We can see here how the financial donations made by members to BullBuilder have a real ‘end product’ on the field.” You can be a part of it too, by joining or re-joining BullBuilder. Just visiting our website at http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/join/, or contact us at Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.