Karl cares for welfare of players

Karl Kittsen of Wyke RLFC
Karl Kittsen of Wyke RLFC

THIS week Echo Sport caught up with Karl Kittsen who is the Junior Secretary and Child Welfare Officer for Wyke ARLFC.

Karl, 45, is married to Victoria and they have five children, Abigail 23, Sam 20, Reece 17, and Megan and Coby 14.

Boys Sam, Reece and Coby all play for the club.

Karl played when he was at school, but became involved at Wyke when his children began playing some six or seven years ago.

A retired teacher, Karl now works in a secondary school as a teaching assistant for under performing children.

“When my eldest, Sam, started playing at Wyke I went along to watch and then started coaching which led to me gaining my level two coaching qualification four years ago,” said Karl. “I don’t do any coaching now but sometimes I might help out with the junior section.”

His role at the club involves running the junior section which consists of the under eights, 10s, 12s, 14s and 18s.

“I sort out the fixtures, open up and clear up the changing rooms and fill in paperwork at the club,” he added.

In his role of child welfare officer Karl said: “My role is to safeguard the children. Safety is paramount and all the legalities that go with working with children.

“I deal with child protection issues and I also work with the coaches to make sure they are not put in any situations either.

“It’s an exciting place.We only had a few teams when I started and the open age team was doing okay, but then a few years ago we lost the clubhouse, changing rooms and coach and we started to lose players, so we have had to build ourselves back up.

“Now we have players at Halifax, Bradford and Keighley and we also have a couple that have been offered scholarships with the Bradford Bulls.

We are attracting players and we have around 150 kids involved and about 60 adult players with around 30 to 40 regular volunteers, it’s a busy place to be!

“We are the only sports club in Wyke that covers all ages so we are a real community club.”