October 26, 2023

Accessible guide to Rugby League created by people with support needs

The Club & Foundation is delighted to support an ‘Easy Read Guide To Rugby League’, which is available to download after being specially created by 14 people with support needs, who are huge fans of the sport.

With support and guidance from the Rugby Football League (RFL) and national social care charity, Community Integrated Care, the fans have combined their lived experience of living with a disability and their own knowledge of the sport, to create a guide that is accessible for all.

This resource is available for free by clicking HERE and provides information on ways to get involved in the sport of rugby league, regardless of your age, gender, physical ability and much more.

One of the group’s Rugby League fanatics, Ben Gomersall, expressed his passion for Rugby League by playing in the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League for Wakefield Trinity. They have worked closely with specialists at the charity to ensure the rules of the sport are presented in a way that is clear for people of all abilities.

Community Integrated Care is one of the UK’s most successful social care charities, delivering life-enhancing support to over 2,500 people with a diverse range of care needs, including learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions.

With clear, short and accessible statements supported by representative photography, this resource is designed to aid communication and understanding. Following feedback from the group, the aim was to reduce anxieties associated with lengthy, text-heavy documents, helping to empower the reader, reduce inequality and introduce more fans to the sport that they love.

The opportunity to create this resource was identified through Community Integrated Care’s award-winning Inclusive Volunteering Programme.

Working in partnership with major sports brands such as the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Betfred Super League, this work is empowering people who have support needs to grow in confidence and explore their interests through personal development projects inspired by the sports, enabling a unique platform to share their skills.

Speaking on behalf of the Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation, Media & Commercial Executive, William Moore, said, “This is an outstanding resource that will have nothing but a positive impact on the game.

“From a Wakefield Trinity point-of-view, the Learning Disability Super League has gone from strength to strength, and we are proud to represent such an incredible side.

“The work Ben has helped undertake as part of this project will help grow participant’s understanding of the game and how they can get involved.”

While, Lewis Webster, Sports Inclusion Communications Manager at Community Integrated Care, said, “This resource is an exceptional showcase of the talents of people who access care and support – the group have done an incredible job of creating something that will be valuable to so many people.

“The guide will not only empower the reader to enjoy the sport of Rugby League, but equally will enable support workers, coaches, parents, and practitioners, to encourage more people to get involved in this special game.”

We’d like to thank our expert colleagues at Community Integrated Care for their guidance in producing this special resource, our partners at the RFL for championing inclusion and our wonderful inclusive volunteers for their dedication, skill, and efforts to support others with learning disabilities to enjoy the game of rugby league with this brilliant guide!”

Lastly, Jeff Fisher, Community Integrated Care Inclusive Volunteer and contributor to the guide, finished by saying,I love Rugby League! It’s very exciting to watch, whether it’s on TV or when you go in a stadium. I want more people to enjoy the game like me. I’m glad I can help others to understand the sport with this guide.”

With thanks to the contributors to the ‘Easy Read Guide To Rugby League’:

  • Stuart Thompson
  • Jeff Fisher
  • Linda Critchley
  • Paul Ainsworth
  • Carl Hitchcock
  • Gillian Latta
  • Cheryl Shacklady
  • Helen Widdop
  • Nathan McKie
  • Oliver Thomason
  • Ian Rafferty
  • Mitch Woodham
  • Declan Jenkinson
  • Ben Gomersall