The Chairman of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has tabled an Early Day Motion in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA).

BARLA is a longstanding Associate Member of the Parliamentary Group and alongside other organisations and individuals has provided much input into the Group.

On tabling the motion, Mulholland – who is a Vice-President of BARLA – said “On behalf of the Group, I am delighted to be able to table a motion recognising the longevity of any organisation involved in rugby league. Alongside the RFL, BARLA is one of our longest-serving Associate Members of the Group which is only a mere 25 years old this year.”

“BARLA has undertaken a great deal within the sport of rugby league and was formed during an intense and emotional period of the sport’s history. It has played an important and fundamental role in addressing issues rugby league faced in challenging the establishment removing incorrect references to ‘the professional game’ by creating a framework for people to play rugby league purely for recreation and fun. We continue to support their endeavours to promote the sport to communities throughout the UK and the world.”

Lindsay Hoyle, Member of Parliament for Chorley and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons (a role which prevents him from adding his name to Motions) is also a Vice-President of BARLA. He added his thoughts saying “BARLA has been an outstanding vehicle for promoting the skills and ethos of rugby league to communities up and down the country. Its work in enabling more people to play rugby league at all levels is hugely important. We thank all involved for their hard work and dedication and we wish them well for the next forty years.”

The full Motion reads: That this House congratulates the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) on reaching its 40th anniversary; appreciates the role BARLA has played in the sport of rugby league football during that time in the development of the community, social and recreational game throughout the UK and beyond; recognises the fundamental role the organisation has played in removing references to the professional game; is grateful for its long-standing associate membership of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group, its junior by 15 years; and wishes all those involved in the organisation a successful 41st year in the year of the Rugby League World Cup 2013.