Rugby League’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been highlighted by a groundbreaking report.

The Rugby League Dividend Report concluded that the sport delivers an annual social impact worth more than £185 million to the country.

It also found that every £1 spent by community clubs and foundations generated a social return of £4.08.

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rugby League, believes this report proves that Rugby League is more than a sport.

The MP explained: “2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year for the whole country and the impact of Coronavirus has hit hardest in areas of socio-economic disadvantage.

“That is why the selfless efforts of Rugby League clubs including many players, staff and volunteers, the charities and individual supporters should be recognised for the impact they have had and continue to have in supporting our communities through lockdowns and restrictions.

“They have often been the glue keeping communities together.

“They have certainly helped many thousands of people to get through whether by delivering food and medicine, or offering a friendly face and listening ear, and keeping people active and lifting spirits."

Although Super League has managed to continue during the pandemic, Barrow Raiders have not played a single game since March of last year, when they thrashed Coventry Bears 50-6 in League 1.

Paul Crarey’s side are due to play rugby again during the first weekend of March, with a first round tie in the Challenge Cup.

However, fresh government restrictions in the fight against Covid-19 has postponed the Raiders’ pre-season training, hampering their preparation for the upcoming 2021 season.

Despite the hardship during the last ten months, the club have continued to deliver their Advantage! programme, which promotes sport, health and wellbeing and support disadvantaged groups, young people and adults in schools, colleges, and the wider community.