Scott Edwards has stepped down as chairman of Svenska Rugby League Förening (SRL), a post he had held since the creation of the Swedish governing body three years ago.
“An idea that was, in the beginning, simply a personal dream is now a reality,” said the former London Skolars player, who moved to Sweden ten years ago as a school teacher and started developing the sport there in 2009.
“The Sweden Rugby League Association not only exits but it is on the map and I believe it can continue to grow and go onto bigger things.”
SRL was admitted as an RLEF Observer in February 2011 and under Edwards’s leadership has consistently advanced the sport’s presence not only in Sweden but in Scandinavia too, with Edwards an advocate of incorporating neighbouring Denmark and Norway in any initiatives.
That cross-border collaboration started with a match against Norway in September 2010 and has seen Sweden participate annually in the Nordic Cup which, this year, saw each match awarded Test status for the first time.
Edwards was heavily involved in the introduction of the Scandinavian 9s in 2010 and the Pan-Scandinavian series in 2013 and now Sweden stands on the cusp of running its own domestic club competition.
Edwards’ own club, Kungsbacka Broncos, where he will remain a Director, has been a leading light in introducing Swedes to rugby league.
“It has been a very enjoyable journey thus far,” continued Edwards, “and I now feel that the time has come to hand over the gavel to somebody else. I was honoured to be part of the founding board in January 2011 and also to have overseen the progress and development in the last three years.”
Acting chairman Paul Briggs paid tribute to Edwards’s efforts in establishing the sport: “All players past, present and those yet to come will be thankful for Scott bringing rugby league to Sweden” he said.
“Simply put, it would not exist here if not for him. Personally speaking I am especially grateful as he selected me in the national side and coming on board with league brought my passion for sport back again.
“With our focus on developing a great domestic scene, Scott will offer help and advice for all clubs to flourish. The board thanks Scott and his family for all the time and commitment they have put in.”
The SRL will elect a new chair at its AGM in January.