The Board of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has held its first meeting under the newly adopted constitution which was voted in by the members last month.
A nominations committee, led by the current Chair, Graeme Thompson, has been appointed to agree the process and start the search for three independent directors one of which will become Chair of the organisation.
Graeme Thompson outlined his thoughts on the appointments saying;
“The RLIF is determined to introduce independent directors to complement those representing the current membership. These recruitments will be based on skills and competencies and designed to elevate the RLIF to the next level in terms of organisational performance. We expect these exciting and vitally important roles to attract high calibre applicants, with many from outside the sport.”
Members of the RLIF will also be subject to a new membership policy, on which they have all been actively consulted, and which will be implemented following the June board meeting and a second member consultation stage. It will widen the areas under consideration to cover six areas of every organisation – governance, finance, participation, technical, international and communication. From 2021 RLIF funding will be distributed according to the new policy which gives members until then to ensure that they are compliant.
The Board has also considered and approved a proposal to meet with members from the Commonwealth Games Federation in order to understand the pathway required for the sport to potentially become a medal sport at the games. A delegation, led by the chair, will meet the CGF in May.
Following the approval of the 2019 calendar, the architecture of a multi-year calendar based upon world cup cycles which will include global, continental and regional competitions plus space for bi-lateral matches has been presented to the board. This will be discussed in detail at the next meeting.
RLIF chief executive officer, Nigel Wood recognises the importance of these discussions saying;
“Around the world, fans, players, coaches all want to see a regular international competition which build upon the excitement of the domestic competitions – it unites people and provides something unique for everyone.
“We have a great programme for 2019 and we have now presented the architecture for a rolling calendar which will give everyone the certainty that they have been seeking. That now goes out for wider consultation amongst the membership and will be discussed again at our meeting in June”
Other matters discussed by the Board include a new digital strategy for the RLIF operation, branding of the organisation and an improved match sanctioning protocol.
RLIF chair, Graeme Thompson concluded by saying:
“These are really positive times for the sport internationally. The collaboration displayed by the whole membership has promoted progress in all areas. The discussions around calendar are really important and catch the eye, however the progress made on the governance of the game at all levels will be the bedrock of the sport for many years to come.”