YP Letters: Rugby league should take pride in Sinfield success

From: Simon Foster, Beverley.

Kevin Sinfield salutes the fans at the end of his Leeds Rhinos career.
Kevin Sinfield salutes the fans at the end of his Leeds Rhinos career.

THE world of rugby league can be justly proud of Kevin Sinfield coming second in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (The Yorkshire Post, December 21), particularly since he was competing against the very best of British sports personnel.

Kevin’s professionalism and humility shone through. The number of votes he received, over a quarter of a million, was quite extraordinary. With Lizzie Jones’s amazing rendition of Danny Boy and the Helen Rollason award winner young Bailey Mathews thrilled to meet his heroes, the Leeds Rhinos players, at the post awards celebrations (something he talked about the following morning on BBC TV news), the positive image and warmth extended by the game of rugby league to the media and the wider public was tangible.

From: Alan Marsden, Gamblesby.

REGARDING the Sports Personality title, Kevin Sinfield got hardly a mention and no picture in the Guardian. Yet everyone from Jessica Ennis-Hill to Greg Rutherford to Tyson Fury’s girlfriend was heavily featured.

What is it about Rugby League? Too working class for the Guardian? Why do the national Press continually damn rugby league with faint praise? Sinfield got 28 per cent of the vote and was largely ignored. Ennis got eight per cent and was lauded.

Maybe Kevin should have mouthed off a few homophobic and sexist jibes. He is the nicest most courageous man in sport and 278,383 people agree.

From: Chris Ramus, Harrogate.

FOR far too long, rugby league hasn’t received the acknowledgements for its contribution to both codes of rugby that it rightly deserves. The Sports Personality awards changed that perception. In just being nominated, Kevin Sinfield was the first rugby league player ever to be nominated. In coming second with 279,000 votes, the whole of rugby league has taken a giant step forward in public perception.

While individual soccer players are paid millions a year, and swap clubs as the mood takes them, rugby league is a salary capped sport with £1.8m to pay an entire super league squad per year.

Kevin Sinfield has been a one club player since the age of 13 and has played for the love of the sport not for money. Kevin and his team mates deserve all the accolades and the admiration of the people of Yorkshire can heap on them.

At the age of 35, Kevin Sinfield retired from rugby league in October. He is now helping rugby union side Yorkshire Carnegie climb to the top of the Championship table. Let’s hope that with his help, we can once more have a Premiership Rugby Union side in Yorkshire. Here’s to 2016 and more Yorkshire sporting success.

From: Jim Beck, Tickhill.

REFERRING to Tim Mickleburgh’s letter about the late Jimmy Hill (The Yorkshire Post, December 21), surely it was the then maximum wage of £20 per week that he campaigned to see abolished, not any supposed minimum figure?

No bar to EU benefit curb

From: M Smethurst, Cavendish Close, Rotherham.

I MAY be naïve but I really cannot see what the problem is in relation to the withdrawal of benefit payments to migrants from Europe. If my understanding is correct, any country can introduce relevant laws as long as they apply equally to nationals and migrants alike.

Surely the simple answer is to make everybody ineligible to claim any form of benefit until they have been resident in Britain for (say) five years.

What would be the effect of doing this? Well for 99.9 per cent of British nationals, none whatsoever. Nobody under the age of five claims benefit – even child allowance is claimed by the parents. Once the age of five has been reached, then that person also qualifies. As such, these rules would apply to everybody.

Clearly consideration would need to be given to “special cases” such as people recruited to fill jobs requiring specialist skills – I am thinking particularly at this time of nurses and other health professionals recruited from overseas, but that should pose no problem. If they wished, the Government could go even further and apply similar rules to free healthcare, although in that instance, anyone under the age of five would be exempted.

Is it that simple, or am I missing something?

From: GJC Reid, Whitby.

I’M not sure whether hypocrisy or paradox is the better word to use. Here we have an elected body, The House of Commons, which is [apparently] quite happy to pass into UK law decisions passed down from an unelected body, the European Commission.

But let our own unelected body, the House of Lords, ask them to reconsider one of their own decisions [tax credit changes] and all hell breaks out. As I say, shaking my head, paradox or hypocrisy?

From: James Popham, Horsforth.

LIKE many younger people, I believe Britain should stay in the EU. However I have little confidence in those politicians and business leaders who are likely to make this argument. I’d like to know more about the views of Boris Johnson, but he has this habit of speaking in Latin, Greek or double Dutch when asked for his views.