Wakefield Trinity Community Trust launched their Physical Disability Rugby League team on Saturday at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
Ambassadors Jimmy Gittins, Keith Mason and Riona Kelly-Hawes were in attendance as was former GB International, Alan Hunte.
The PDRL format will provide an opportunity to play the game for those who thought they had lost the chance or to those who never thought possibility because of their challenges in life.
A handful of disabled athletes turned up to train for Wakefield Trinity PDRL led by Assistant Coach, Alex Dickinson.
Chris Hall, Trinity PDRL Head Coach, said, “The players who came were fired up and very interactive within the session. We weren’t sure what the ability level would be because it’s about giving an opportunity to anyone to come and play, not restrictive or selective. We were very impressed with what the first session brought and would welcome more players to come and give it a try as a taster.”
Ambassador, Jimmy Gittins, played Rugby League until he suffered an injury that left him paralysed and unable to walk and similarly Riona Kelly-Hawes who had a rare spinal stroke leaving her confined to a wheelchair. Their mental belief led them to the point in their journey that they were able to arrive at the launch event, on foot, aided by crutches.
Craig Shepherd, Community Trust General Manager, added, “The possibilities are endless. We have a tool that can provide people with opportunity and hope and you can’t buy that. We saw people in the room that were visibly overwhelmed by joy that they were able to play.
“The attention globally that has been created from the launch alone tells me that we just need to let people know we exist and that this is for them. Everyone has a part to play in that process. I was delighted to see that everyone who came contributed in some way whether they were there to support another or there to be a part of the team.
“Get in touch, find out what we are all about and we’ll look forward to welcoming you into our family.”
PDRL is a mixture of non-contact and full-contact Rugby League and can be played by children aged 6+ through adults of any age and of either gender, provided they have a disability.
For information on how to be a part of Wakefield Trinity Disability Rugby League, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org