Rugby match to raise funds for Pakistan

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Political Animals take on British Asian Rugby Association in charity match

A TEAM of politicians will take on the British Asian Rugby Association in a charity match this weekend to raise money for the Pakistan Flood Relief fund.

The match featuring The Political Animals will take place on July 10 in Keighley at Cougar Park as a curtain raiser to that afternoon’s Co-operative Championship One fixture between Keighley and Swinton Lions.

Speaking ahead of the event, local MP Kris Hopkins said: “Keighley has a proud tradition of community spirit and I am delighted that the Animals are able to take on BARA at Cougar Park.  As well as the games themselves, it will be a fun day for all that attend and I hope we can raise a lot of money for the Pakistan Flood Relief fund.”

The Political Animals is a Rugby League club comprising Lords, MPs and Councillors past and present, as well as Parliamentary staff and those who have sought or are seeking election. 

The aim of the club is to promote the sport of Rugby League to a political audience through welcoming politicians of all parties to play the game and see the good work it does throughout the UK and Ireland.  

The Political Animals Club Captain is Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, who said: “The Animals provide the opportunity for politicians to take part in a game that does so much at local level and see first-hand how clubs work with their communities and come together for good causes. 

“That we’re able to play the likes of BARA and other representative sides is a real honour and raising money for an important cause is our way of giving something back, as well as reaching out to and engaging with the British Pakistani community.”

The British Asian Rugby Association works with South Asian communities to develop young people through the medium of sport.  The main point of their strategy is to develop sport/rugby within the local communities, to provide positive role models and to use rugby as a medium to address key issues in their communities. 

In addition to helping to attract the South Asian communities to the sport, BARA also works with rugby’s dual governing bodies to help facilitate the progression of participation within all areas of the game.

BARA Managing Director Ikram Butt said: “The catastrophic floods in Pakistan blighted communities throughout the country.  For those of us in the Asian community, our family and friends have all been affected in some way.

“BARA seeks to bring together community ties through the medium of sport and playing the likes of the Political Animals is both an honour and great way of showing to the decision makers of this country that sport is a fantastic vehicle for good.”

The charity match will raise funds for the Pakistan Flood Relief fund to help those affected by the catastrophic floods in July and August 2010.  

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