Applications are now open for the 2023 Matt King Bursary, an educational award that could see inspirational young people from rugby league communities secure a grant of up to £10,000.
Nathan Mulhall, an England wheelchair rugby league player and student teacher, was the inaugural winner of the bursary last year – after an application in which he pledged to use his influence as an Additional Needs Specialist at Ryburn Valley High School in Sowerby to promote the positive impact of rugby league.
Now in its second year, the award is open to all young people aged between 16 and 25 who can demonstrate that the skills, education and qualifications they gain will directly benefit both themselves and their role within Rugby League, whilst also being of value to any Rugby League organisation they represent, as well as the wider sport in general.
The Matt King Bursary is awarded in memory of Matt King OBE, who inspired millions of people after suffering a serious spinal injury playing for the London Broncos Academy in 2004.
Matt was paralysed from the neck down and unable to breathe independently after his injury but went on to achieve a first-class honours degree in law, secure a role as in-house lawyer with the Williams Formula 1 team, build a career as a motivational speaker and become a proud father.
Matt and his family were supported by the RL Benevolent Fund, which was established as a direct consequence of Matt’s injury. The Benevolent Fund has since gone on to raise and distribute millions of pounds to people who have suffered life-changing injuries playing Rugby League. Matt passed away in February 2021, aged just 33.
The Matt King Bursary is administered in partnership by the Rugby Football League and the RL Benevolent Fund, with support from Matt’s family, all of whom are represented on the awarding panel that considers all applications.
The bursary of £10,000 can be awarded to just one individual or to a number of successful applicants at the discretion of the panel, who this year are inviting applications from young people themselves and permissive nominations from friends and family members of inspirational young leaders.
After receiving an award of £7,000, Nathan Mulhall said “It has allowed me to focus on what is important, and that is getting my degree to become a teacher. Teaching is a difficult career to get into, however, being the recipient of the award has given me purpose and motivation to go on and complete it.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to the judging panel and to Matt King’s family for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to follow my dreams.”
To apply for an award from the Matt King Educational Bursary please click here
All applications must be submitted by March 31, 2023
Anyone involved with the sport, at any level, who aspires to invest in themselves and in doing so for the benefit of Rugby League. It is hoped to be able to give enhanced support to those individuals who have suffered recent hardship, or are facing financial adversity, that would otherwise remain a barrier and prevent them from realising their full potential.
* The skills, education and qualifications sought will directly benefit the individual and their role within Rugby League, whilst also being of value to the RL organisation(s) they represent, as well as the wider sport in general.
* Open to any individual who occupies a current role within Rugby League such as community player, volunteer, coach, administrator or employee.
* Must be a UK resident and over the age of 16.
* Must be for an accredited and recognised qualification relevant to the topic of study.
* Must agree to contribute and participate in media and PR opportunities upon a successful application .
* Professional players who can access educational grants through alternative funding.
* Anyone who the panel deems to not have a good standing within the game.