Leeds Rhinos Foundation has announced open training sessions for anyone interested in joining their Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL) team.
The side will compete this year in the inaugural Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League, along with 11 other founding clubs. Launched in March at Community Integrated Care’s annual conference, the competition will form a ground-breaking inclusive sports programme for people with learning disabilities and autism.
Learning Disability Rugby League is a specially adapted non-competitive game, which focuses on encouraging participation and skills development. Matches will take place across a series of high-profile festivals and events, with specialist training sessions set to be provided to players before the competition’s official launch at the Dacia Magic Weekend in Liverpool, on 25th-26th May 2019.
This will provide one of the biggest ever crowds for a learning disability sports event.
Ben Berry, Team Manager and Disability Coordinator for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity which allows individuals of all backgrounds and abilities to experience playing for Leeds Rhinos. This is perfectly illustrated through the first festival of the LDRL calendar, which includes a half-time match at Anfield during this year’s Magic Weekend.
“We will aim to provide high-quality bespoke training sessions at Kirkstall and Emerald Headingley for anybody that is eligible to play for the side and look forward to competing in the Community Integrated Care Super League this season.
We’re extremely excited to begin this journey and play our part in helping the sport to grow and prosper in the future.”
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful social care charities, supporting over 3,500 people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia across England and Scotland. The charity has developed several pioneering sports and social care programmes, including initiatives with leading Rugby League clubs such as Leeds Rhinos.
Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, said: “This initiative gives people with learning disabilities an unparalleled platform to stay active, make friends, increase their confidence, develop skills and achieve their dreams.
“By providing people with the opportunity to represent the clubs that they love, become Super League players, and be part of the game’s biggest events, such as Magic Weekend, the sport is not only changing people’s lives but also making a powerful statement about the inclusiveness and values of Rugby League.”
The first training session for the LDRL side takes place on Friday 26th April, 3-4pm at Leeds Rugby Academy, Kirkstall.
To register your interest, and for more information on Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s LDRL team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.