A leading professional rugby league club has hailed the impact that Comoodle has made in helping it to stage popular community active sessions across North Kirklees.
Comoodle, a unique, online sharing platform, has seen Batley Bulldogs RLFC’s Community team sign-up so that they can borrow a range of sports equipment such as two BATAK walls, a balance rail, trampolines, three spinning bikes, speed jumps and a variety of kits to hold cricket, boxing, badminton and hockey sessions.
Following the partnership, the Kingstone Press Championship side’s Community team has since been able to roll out its ‘Mission Active’ project – a programme aimed at getting all ages active in the community – from its community gym at the club’s Heritage Road stadium using Comoodle’s equipment. Fun and active sessions have already been held for school pupils, the elderly, rugby teams and young people with complex needs including Dewsbury’s Ravenshall School.
Jon Humpleby, Batley Bulldogs’ Community Manager, said: “Having spoken to the Comoodle team about how we could get involved, we’ve been able to borrow equipment that has enabled us to hold Mission Active Multi-skills Days. As well as helping to grow our community gym sessions, Comoodle’s help has also meant we’ve been able to visit schools and take our sessions into the community which has been fantastic.
“The fact that we are custodians on the Comoodle platform and we’re able to use the equipment for free, is fantastic. We couldn’t afford two BATAK walls without Comoodle’s help so it’s allowed us to do things that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
“It’s really important we get involved in the community and that we are seen to be a focus group where people can come along, get together and do fun activities.
“From a club perspective, it’s really nice for the supporters to see you doing things within the community because the young people are the future fans of the club so we need to engage them. It’s also nice to think you’re making a difference within the community – whether it’s getting people active, building confidence or self-esteem. It fits into our whole community strategy.
“We need to keep spreading the word about Comoodle and the amazing things we’ve been able to borrow, use and tell others about the sessions we can offer. We have a responsibility to keep in contact with the groups we work with and that means telling them about Comoodle and sharing the good work it does for the community.”
Batley Bulldogs are one of several groups across Kirklees to have signed-up to Comoodle to share its ‘stuff, space and skills’ and help events flourish. And following a flurry of activity across 2017, the online platform has helped 685 exchanged involving 250 groups across Kirklees – saving the community a total of £36,000 in what it would have cost to hire venues, borrow equipment and offer training.
The Comoodle project is a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2014 Mayors Challenge, an ideas competition to inspire bold and creative ideas in cities that will improve people’s lives and that have the potential to spread to other cities.
Duggs Carre, Comoodle project manager, said: “We have now seen the new website live for nine months and in that time, the offers available have increased rapidly – as have the number of signed-up members.
“What we can’t measure, but in many ways, is more important, are the new connections that have been made and the increase in collaboration that has been borne out of helping others.
“We expect to grow further in 2018 and more than double our offers and membership. There is still so much more ‘stuff, space and skills’ out there that community groups and businesses can use to make all the towns and villages across Kirklees a better place to live. We really do believe in sharing.”
Building owners, businesses and community groups can put any type of available ‘stuff, space and skills’ on Comoodle – from advertising in a shop window to offering sports equipment or training sessions. It can either be offered completely free or made available for a small charge or donation to charity.
For more information and to sign up to share visit: www.comoodle.com