Oldham RLFC and Pro-Excel announce bid to set Guinness world record at Boundary Park

Date published: 12 June 2024

Oldham Rugby League Football Club has announced it is set to play host to one of the biggest-ever community performance events in the history of either code of rugby.

In partnership with the specialist educational events organisation Pro-Excel, 2,500 children and young people - 1,000 from Oldham and the surrounding area, alongside 1,500 from across the UK - will attempt to dance and sing their way into the record books with an official Guinness world record attempt for the most dancers performing with a singer, ahead of a league game at Boundary Park in May, 2025.

Mike Ford, Managing Director of Oldham RLFC, said: “This club has given so much to so many people over the last century.

"Chairman Bill Quinn and I have a vision for the next chapter of this club.

"We will not only be measured on the impact of success on the field, but in the manner we impact on our community as a whole.

"Elite professional sports have a responsibility to our fans, new and old, to bring joy and make wonderful memories.

"This project achieves that in spades!

"To see a packed Boundary Park cheering on our team and at the same time providing a spectacle performed by young people, witnessed by their friends, brothers and sisters, grandmothers and grandfathers will be a very proud moment for us all at Oldham RLFC.”

Liam O’Reilly, Managing Director of Pro-Excel, added: “We are an Oldham-based organisation and our first-ever show more than 20 years ago was in this stadium.

"Twenty-two years later, and after engaging with over 200,000 young people across the UK, Europe and USA, we are delighted to return to the club where I personally began my career.

"We will spend five months working with 2,500 young people from across the UK, 1,000 of those from Oldham.

"These young people will work with top dance and vocal specialists to design and produce the show of a lifetime, and to bring this to our hometown is beyond my wildest dreams.

“I am so grateful to Bill Quinn, Mike Ford and Oldham RLFC and also to Frank Rothwell, owner of Boundary Park and Oldham Athletic.

"These wonderful custodians of the town’s premier sports teams have such a passion for the social responsibility that sport has.

"We are immensely lucky and proud to have this in our town and we promise to produce something so special people will talk about this moment in history for years to come.”

Co-owner of the Boundary Park stadium where the event is taking place and Oldham Athletic FC, Frank Rothwell, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for the people of Oldham to put our great town on the map again.

"The Roughyeds and Pro-Excel are planning a production to equal the Superbowl’s half time show and gain a Guinness World Record in the process.

"The target is to break the world record for the number of backing dancers for a singer.

"Anyone between the ages of nine to 18 from any background can join in.

"We want as many young people as possible from Oldham to participate and go down in history.”

In keeping with the unique spirit of community, two charities will benefit from this history-making project.

Firstly, Alzheimer’s Research UK, a charity close to the heart of Mr Rothwell.

In February this year, Fhe set his own Guinness World Record for becoming the oldest man to row solo across the Atlantic.

This being the second time he had undertaken such a task, raising £1.4m along the way.

Secondly, the event will support the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).

One of Rugby League’s favourite sons, Rob Burrow CBE, sadly passed away on June 2, 2024, having been diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019.

Over the last five years Rob, and his former Leeds Rhinos and England teammate, Kevin Sinfield, from Oldham, have raised over £15 million for Motor Neurone Disease research.

In honour of Rob’s memory and to help continue his work raising awareness of MNDA the organisers, Oldham RLFC and Pro-Excel are very proud to make the charity a beneficiary of the project and event.

Would you like your school to take part in this project?

To find out about performance and sponsorship opportunities for supporting children and young people across the UK to take part in the event, please contact: enquiries@pro-excel.co.uk

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