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On July 4th 2002 the Parliamentary Matchbox Rugby League Championship in support of Sport Relief will be held in association with London Broncos RLFC.
A total of 8 teams, each fielding a maximum of 3 players, will gather in the Houses of Parliament for what promises to be a thrilling tournament. Teams including the House of Lords, Lancashire MPs, Yorkshire MPs, Cheshire MPs, London Broncos, an invited women-only team and even Rugby Union playing MPs will be flicking a matchbox along a table with the aim of scoring a try.
David Hinchliffe, MP for Wakefield and Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group: "The London Broncos contacted the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group wanting to stage a joint event for Sport Relief and we were delighted to join them in initiating the Parliamentary Matchbox Rugby League Championship. Matchbox Rugby League is a sport with considerable appeal to parliamentarians, requiring guile and cunning but little in terms of physical fitness."
Nic Cartwright London Broncos CEO "As a club we were very keen to be involved in Sport Relief and hope that this event will not only raise money but will inspire people to support Sport Relief. We will be fielding a competitive team and the coaching staff have devised a vigorous matchbox flicking and finger exercise programme in preparation."
The Championship Matchbox is sponsored by all the clubs in the Tetley's Super League. Andrew Whitelam, spokesman for the clubs: "The Tetley's Rugby Super League are delighted to support this inaugural championship. Rugby League has already supported Sport Relief through last year's Challenge Cup and we anticipate that the "action on the table" will be different but just as exciting!"
Ben Chapman, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Sport, will be kicking off proceedings at 10.45am. The final will be at 12.05pm with the trophy presentation at 12.15pm.
A brief summary of the rules follows: * Each game will be played over 5 minutes in 2 halves. Each team is allowed to flick the matchbox once before their opponent has a turn. The object is to score tries by getting the matchbox on or over the try line but not out of play over the dead ball line. "Dead ball" is off the end of the table and "in to touch" is off the side.
* When a try is scored, a conversion is attempted from a field position on the far side of the "20 metre" line. The side conceding the try will create goal posts using fingers, thumbs and arms. A try counts as four points and a goal of any sort as two points.
* There is no direct flicking into touch and if this happens a penalty will be awarded which may be taken as a direct flick at goal or a flick on the ground.
* No bad language or abuse of the referee will be tolerated.
Media attendance must be confirmed by 4pm on Wednesday 3rd July by calling Sue Harris or Charlotte Chapman on 020 8960 7449 or email
Please allow adequate time to pass through security checks. Report to reception in Central Lobby by 10.30am
Editors notes re London Broncos
The next home game is on Saturday 6th July versus Castleford Tigers. Kick off will be at 6.05pm and the game will be shown live on Sky Sports. The evening will include a special entertainment programme including a cheerdance performance by pupils from primary schools within the Borough of Hounslow.
Tickets for home games can be purchased by calling 020 8853 8800 or through
Full information regarding the London Broncos RLFC can be obtained by calling Republic Media on 020 8960 7449
Editors Notes re Sport Relief
Sport Relief is a new fundraising campaign from Comic Relief and BBC Sport that aims to unite the world of sport and inspire the UK public to raise money for vulnerable children and young people in the UK and around the world. The campaign will culminate on Saturday July 13th in a big night of TV on BBC ONE, hosted by Gary Lineker, Ulrika Jonsson, Jamie Theakston and Clare Balding, that promises a line up of some of sport's biggest heroes.
Sport Relief has launched the ultimate accessory for any Sport Relief fundraising event this summer - the spectacular Sport Relief Gold Medal.
The Gold Medal is designed to make everyone a winner and inspire the whole of the UK to get active during this year's great summer of sport. It is available at Foot Locker, Oxfam, Pizza Hut, The Body Shop, www.sportrelief.com & BBC Stores for ?1.50, of which at least 75p will go to Sport Relief.
SUB-NOTES TO EDITORS * Pictures of sports stars and celebrities wearing the medal are available for editorial use from Comic Relief.
* Pictures available now include; Sir Steve Redgrave, Michael Owen, Denise Lewis, Sir Elton John and Alessandro Safina, Samantha Mumba, Lisa Rogers, Martin Offiah and Peter Ebdon.
HOW CAN PEOPLE HELP * Buy the sport relief medal - available at Foot Locker, Oxfam, Pizza Hut, The Body Shop, www.sportrelief.com and BBC Stores for a mere ?1.50 with at least 75p going to Sport Relief.
* Donate - by calling the donation Line: 08457 9 10 9 10 (Local rate call charges apply)
* Visit the website - by logging onto www.sportrelief.com